BLAZING THE TRAIL IN PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
BPO Partylist makes breakthrough pitch to represent call center workers, IT professionals and online freelancers in Congress
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry is undeniably one of the biggest contributors in the Philippine economy. One of the most progressive and fastest growing industries today, it is a key driving force in the country’s socio-economic transformation and economic prosperity.
For the past three decades, it has opened doors to a lot of opportunities – putting food on the table, providing decent education, and building stable livelihoods to thousands of families across the archipelago.
Crowned as the BPO capital of the world back in 2010, Phl stands tall and proud as one of the leading names in the industry to date. And it is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with a brighter outlook for investors who kept their trust and confidence in the Filipino workforce.
Ironically, the BPO industry has never been given enough support by the government in terms of safeguarding its welfare in spite of the big role it played to the Phl economy.
Buoyed by that ardent desire, a group of BPO industry leaders headed by Cebu-based Davaoeno entrepreneur Michael “Mike” Cubos established the Bangon Philippine Outsourcing Inc. (BPO) Partylist Group, a sectoral party that advocates the promotion, development, sustainability, support and advancement of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM), Countryside Development, Startups and Online Filipino Workers in the Philippines.
“We’re the second biggest contributor in the Philippine economy yet no one is overseeing us and looking after our welfare. As an essential sector, we also need guidance and assurance of protection,” said Cubos.
“We have lots of concerns, plans and things to do for the advancement of our industry but our voice cannot reach the level of national decision-makers,” Cubos continued. “Our leaders don’t have hands-on experience on this matter that is why we really need a representation. We need to have a champion, someone who have experience and knowledge about the industry.”
BLAZING THE TRAIL
For the Cubos and the BPO Partylist, the best is yet to come.
In a ground-breaking event in the nation’s political landscape, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has included Bangon Philippine Outsourcing (BPO Partylist, #120 in the official ballot) in the certified List of Candidates among partylist groups for the upcoming May 2022 elections.
Since the partylist election was first contested in 1998, the BPO community finally have a representation.
Now that the opportunity presents itself, Cubos and the BPO Partylist wants to make the most out of their breakthrough pitch to represent call center workers, IT professionals, and online freelancers among others in the hallowed halls of Congress.
For Cubos, it’s just the beginning of a tough yet very exciting and challenging battle ahead. “We must have a unified voice to protect the interest of the BPO sector,” stressed Cubos. “Thankfully, we made it to the final Comelec list of partylist groups for the upcoming elections.”
“Honestly, I have mixed emotions about it. I’m very happy and elated but at the same time anxious because of the difficult task ahead knowing that we’re the first to represent the sector. We don’t have the advantage in terms of awareness and resources,” he added. “But talking to the different stakeholders, they are very supportive to our cause, giving me a sense of hope and optimism.”
MAN FOR THE JOB
For someone who came through the ranks, Cubos, who grew up poor and had been into different jobs just to support himself in college, is tailor-made for the government post he aspires.
Gleaned on his eight years of experience in the BPO Industry, Cubos felt he is loaded with the necessary skillset to put up and run his own company. Armed with hard work and perseverance, he rose from his humble beginnings as a relatively unknown call center agent to a big boss in call center companies he founded eight years ago – the Performance 360 Solutions Inc. in his hometown Davao and the Performance 360 Global Services in Cordova, Cebu.
Young, dynamic and full of ideas, the 38-year-old Cubos is very passionate and visionary as an industry leader with a plethora of accomplishments under his belt.
A recipient of the prestigious The Outstanding Cebuano Award (TOCA) award in the field of Entrepreneurship in 2016, Cubos served as Chairman of the Cebu Business Month (CBM), an annual event of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), for two consecutive years from 2020 to 2021.
Given his character and brand of leadership, Cubos will surely help safeguard the welfare and best interest of those in the BPO family all over the nation.
“There had been some attempts to represent the BPO sector in the past but all of them failed,” said Cubos. ”
Now that it comes our way, I feel this is the only chance for the BPO sector to have a representation in the Congress so we must capitalize on it.”
“Pandemic or not, this is the only industry that can provide millions of jobs for our fellow countrymen in the coming years that is why I am very passionate about it. We should not let the hopes of our industry down. It’s a tedious job that entails a lot of challenges but we will give our best shot and move with vigor and great resolve towards achieving our goal,” assured Cubos.
ADVOCACY AND PLATFORMS
If given the chance to serve, Cubos vowed to work closely with all those involved in the BPO circle that is very close to his heart. He trains his sights on crafting policies and legislation that will support the needs and create a much better working environment for all.
“I know that our BPO workers have some issues and particular concerns. For someone coming from the sector, I fully understand their sentiments that is why I want to be their voice in the Congress and look after their greater good and best interest. It’s high time that the industry, given its huge contribution to the growth and development of our economy, be recognized by the government,” said Cubos.
On top of Cubos’ agenda is access to training and education through scholarship grants knowing that it will make the BPO members more productive, carry a respectable job and eventually improve their quality of life.
“Skills and knowledge are very vital. We must provide those who are interested with the necessary skills that will equip them for BPO-related works,” pointed out Cubos. “That is the reason why we are holding free call center training just recently. This will provide them with the basic call center knowledge needed to have a successful career in this industry.”
Secondly, Cubos will bat for free internet for all especially in the urban areas. “By having a free internet access for all, it can jumpstart the economy and create a ripple effect of development in a local area,” Cubos explained.
“We actually have many advocacy and platforms for our BPO partylist group. Among them is to introduce innovations in digital technology among the LGUs and create a one-stop concierge for all those who aspire to work for the IT-BPM,” said Cubos. “Also, there must be champion in the Congress to push and fight for laws about technology, innovation and information technology.”
“We will also be pushing for homegrown entrepreneurship. In the early days of the BPO industry, we rely on foreign investors because we don’t have the talent, technology and capital. Admittedly, we are largely dominated by bigger players until but we can now tap our own because we already have all what we need,” Cubos furthered.
He firmly believes that there’s an opportunity for the Filipinos to bring this lucrative outsourcing trade to the provinces not only for employment but also an opportunity for everyone to have their own outsourcing business or have a share of its expanding market.
“We already have the talent, the technology, and the budget we need to bring this outsourcing business in the countryside. If we don’t take care of it, the jobs will go somewhere else. It’s time that the government should focus on this. ,” Cubos emphasized.
“In our own little way, we in BPO Partylist Group yearn to make a difference in our country through the BPO Industry. We want to have stability and sustainability in our sector, and we humbly ask all your support in this noble endeavor and honest cause. If we collectively strive hard and reach out for it in the best possible way we could, it will help a lot of people and we will have a very bright future ahead of us,” Cubos ended.
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