By Chino S. Leyco
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) assured yesterday that Filipino workers are not at a disadvantage in the online gaming sector amid the influx of Chinese nationals in the country.
Andrea D. Domingo, Pagcor chairperson said that foreign nationals are not taking over jobs that could have been for Filipinos, citing that only 75 percent of the workers employed by online gaming operators are foreigners.
This was echoed by Atty. Jose Tria, Pagcor vice president for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) who stressed that Pagcor-licensed online gaming firms hire one Filipino for every four foreign nationals they employ.
Domingo also said that local jobs given to Chinese nationalities are “distinct,” which mainly requires linguistic expertise in the complex languages of China.
While there are Filipinos who could speak Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hokkien, Domingo explained that their diction and accent are different than the mainland Chinese.
“You should know the nuance of the language and the culture is also a factor, especially when you give the good news and the bad news, so it’s a different kind of expertise,” Domingo said in a Kapihan forum.
She also said that online gaming’s call centers in the country are labor intensive, but the qualifications are hardly met by Filipino workers.
“The business can’t operate without hiring the foreign nationals because it has distinct qualifications for its workers. About 75 percent of its employees are in the call center,” Domingo disclosed.
The Pagcor chief also added if Filipinos can only meet the requirements and qualifications for the job, online gaming operators would definitely prefer to hire local talents as they will save on labor costs.
“It’s cheaper to hire locally because they will no longer need to worry about accommodation and food. Now because they are all foreigners, the operators need to provide everything and they need to pay higher salary because it’s in foreign currency,” Domingo said.