HON. CARMEN REYES-ZUBIAGA
Dear Ms. Zubiaga,
We are a group of concerned call center agents from Call Center Philippines (CCP), a social-media based organization made up of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) individuals working for the welfare and interest of the BPO workers all over the country.
We are writing your good office to bring to your attention the sad plight of our fellow call center agents who are persons with disabilities (PWD’s).
Unbeknownst to many Filipinos, many PWD’s have found gainful employment in the BPO industry. For instance, Antonio Baradi, a PWD, has worked for 10 years in a BPO company. Through hard work and determination, he now serves as an Operations Manager in the company and continues to be a good provider for his family.
For Antonio, his status as a PWD mattered much less than his capacity, talent and skill as a BPO employee. The industry opened its doors for him, and now his story continues to inspire other PWD’s seeking stable, rewarding and fulfilling Employment.
Unfortunately, for Antonio and fellow PWD’s, going to and from BPO centers is a big struggle since the infrastructure to make their trip easier are not there. Going to office and returning home safely is a big obstacle course for PWD’s working in BPOs that fuel the Philippine economy.
We respectfully ask for your help to coordinate with local government units in areas with high concentration of BPO officers to push for the full implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 344 ) An Act to Enhance the Mobility of Disabled Persons by Requiring Certain Building, Institutions, Establishments and Public Utilities and Other Devices) and other pertinent laws.
We beseech you coordinate with government officials in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Clark, Dagupan, Davao, Tacloban, Dumaguete, Lipa, Iloilo, Naga, Irigan, Olongapo, Urdaneta and other places dotted with BPO centers for them to establish a PWD-friendly environment in their areas of jurisdiction.
Measures like having unobstructed sidewalls, railings, wheelchair-accessible entrances, 1.2-meter wide ramps; and PWD exist and bathrooms will go a long way in helping improve work and mobility for PWD’s working in call centers around the country.
BPO companies should also be made aware of the provisions of the Magma Carta for Disabled Persons (Republic Act 7277). With many businesses benefiting from the economic boost of the BPO industry in these cities, commercial establishments should also adhere to the discounts and priority access mandated by the law for PWD’s.
We are aware that the work of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) has been pivotal in improving the lives of Filipinos with disabilities. This is why we believe that the influence and presence of NCDA in the “BPO hotspots” can empower many more PWD’s in their pursuit of a good life.
We are counting on your help because we know that President Aquino has in his Cabinet an official who helped build the BPO industry – Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. We know Sec. Roxas will not turn his back on the 1.3 million BPO agents more so the PWD’s among us.
With 1.4 million Filipinos living with disability, the BPO industry can offer so much for those who are willing to preserve. As the industry continues to grow exponentially – with the country expected to rake in $25 billion on 2016 – more and more PWD’s will now look to call centers for an opportunity to work for standard salaries that are often deprived of them.
We thank you for your time.
Call Centers Philippines