Robredo seeks decentralization of BPO industry, improved internet service

Published January 27, 2022, 9:35 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo wants to incentivize the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and telecommunication companies in a bid to decentralize the industry and offer more work-from-home arrangements to Filipinos.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Mark Balmores/MANILA BULLETIN)

If she wins in the May 2022 elections, Robredo said on Thursday, Jan. 27, that she will push for the BPO industry to offer flexible work arrangements while incentivizing telcos also to improve the internet speed in the provinces.

This, she said, will encourage BPO companies to hire more people from the countryside.

“Yes. Ako, sinusupport ko ‘yung (Me, I support the) work from home, sinusupport ko ‘yung (I support the) hybrid. Iyong (The) overarching principle is anong klaseng (what kind of) arrangement iyong mag-i-improve ng (that will improve the) quality of life nating lahat (of all of us),” she told the group BPO and Information Technology (IT) Professionals for Leni during an online town hall meeting.

The work arrangement, which will “pave the way for the decentralization of the BPO industry,” must be beneficial to the employees.

The past two years should push the government and the industries to adapt new policies and restrictions “to what is happening now.”

“Kung meron mang (If there is a) silver lining itong (in this) pandemic is that we were able to show a model, we were able to experience a model where people can work from home,” she added.

Robredo cited incentivizing companies to institutionalize alternative and flexible working arrangements in a bid to convince them to move away from the cities and locate in the provinces.

“With right infrastructure, pwede talaga na ma-decentralize natin ‘yung (we can really decentralize the) BPO industry,” she said, adding that workers living in far-flung areas should not feel the need to relocate to the city to have jobs.

However, achieving decentralization will require the right infrastructure but various “outdated” regulatory restrictions are becoming a hindrance.

The aspiring president lamented that there are a lot of legal restrictions against telecommunication companies “to invest, put up connections in the countryside.”

Robredo is pushing for a “common tower” which will be shared by all telcos to invite them to invest in the countryside.

“Dapat ang gobyerno sana (The government) should be on top of this,” she said.

The Vice President, who is the only lawyer-economist among the presidential candidates, also wants to amend the law that requires telcos to have congressional franchises.

She said that this law becomes a hindrance to investments because of the arduous process of getting the telcos’ franchises approved.

This is not the first time that Robredo faced the BPO industry players. She met them in Cebu earlier when she visited the vote-rich province.

There, the lady official shared that she is also pushing for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set up special precincts in business hubs to allow BPO employees to cast their votes in May.