The Careers Program is about linking out-of-school youth to sustainable higher paying jobs, providing them training and job opportunities so they can pave their own way out of poverty. We took talent that nobody in the sector looked at before, trained them, and proved that they can deliver.
- Geoanna Corneby, CSR Officer, 2012-2015
See how MicroSourcing changes the lives of disadvantaged youths, believing that they can deliver given the right resources and opportunities.
by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario
March 22 is regarded as World Water Day. To honor an indigenous tribe that has lived in houses on stilts in the sea, MicroMissions partnered with Waves for Water and Payatas Orione Foundation (PAOFI) to provide clean, safe, and potable water to the Badjao Community in Quezon. As immigrants from Mindanao, they settled in Lucban, Quezon and PAOFI took care of the community and taught them how to weave rags and beaded bracelets for livelihood and provided them education.
Waves for Water is an organization that offers access to clean water to improve personal and civic well-being, increases overall health, reduces poverty and increases opportunities for education and employment, and contributes to the advancement of individuals and their communities. With the water filters that they provide to communities, it is one step in making sure individuals get to drink bacteria-free water especially in areas where accessibility is a challenge.
Last March 17, MicroMissions volunteers attended the Learn and Share Session on the filters that will be donated to the community. Conducted by Waves for Water, Raymond Sikawat taught the volunteers the assembly of the filter system. On March 24, the trip to Quezon pushed through for volunteers to personally share with the Badjaos the knowledge we gained in using the filters. 15 water filters were given to the Badjao community as they get water from a well, a deep-well pump, and the water from the sea, which has become their lavatory.
Each filter will be used by 3-4 families that will be strictly monitored by PAOFI. The filters donated can be used for 5-10 years, a great deal of sustainability in providing potable water to lessen water-borne diseases, especially to children - to improve their development - and for the community to increase their productivity.
by: Sidney Liquigan
On March 21, 2018, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) facilitated the GenNext Leadership Forum with the theme "Leadership in the Age of Disruption". The GenNext Leadership Forum was attended by middle managers from different call center firms in the Philippines. The forum served as a venue for next-generation leaders to hear insights and learn from industry thought leaders and prominent executives who were invited to speak at the event.
Simultaneous with the GenNext Leadership Forum is the Team Leader Summit, which was attended by contact center team leaders with senior managers invited as speakers.
Throughout the events, the recurring message implied was the need of Philippine contact centers for more competent leaders as the sector continuously grows. The speakers shared how future leaders in the contact centers can prepare for the challenges that come with being a leader in the age of disruption.
As innovations in technology continue to evolve, the speakers emphasized the need to update skills in order to maintain growth and create new opportunities. The future leaders were advised to continue learning on their own instead of waiting for formal training opportunities to arrive. Call centers were also advised to address the challenges of complex digitized transactions by encouraging the further understanding of digital operations and analytics.
"We need to continue the education, the partnership, the collaboration so everybody will understand exactly what we need to do as an industry, as a country to be able to capture the growth and to be able to capture new potential business opportunities," said CCAP President Jojo Uligan.
The GenNext Leadership Forum and Team Leader Summit comprise a series of sessions. The second session was held last April 23 in Alabang, and the next two will be on May 28 in Cebu City and August 13 in BGC.
by: Sidney Liquigan
According to Colliers Philippines, the total office supply in Cebu would reach about one million square meters in 2018, as reported by SunStar Cebu.
Office leasing in Cebu is mainly driven by BPO companies, with call centers representing more than 50% of total office leases and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firms representing 20% in 2017.
Colliers Philippines predicts that for this year, offshore gambling will also become a main player in Cebu's office leasing activity. In 2017, offshore gambling represented 25% of total office leases. Total office transactions in 2017 were at about 107,000 square meters.
"In Manila, offshore gambling is driving the leasing activity of properties, which also have condominium components. And with the continued rise, we expect the same trend to replicate here," said Colliers Philippines Research Manager Joey Roi Bondoc.
Property developers who offer their office spaces to offshore gambling firms were advised by Bondoc to consider building condominiums to complement the offices. As the new office spaces open job opportunities, more workers may need to look for living spaces that are near the business districts.
Furthermore, if Cebu’s local government units would extend local regulations that are more beneficial for businesses like offshore gambling, Colliers Philippines could see an increased growth from the offshore gambling industry in the next two to three years.
As for KPO and business process management (BPM) firms, their annual growth in terms of office transactions is expected to be consistently at around 10% until 2020.
Colliers Philippines also sees the government's 'Build, Build, Build' and decentralization initiatives to be favorable to the office leasing growth in Cebu. The government's programs are said to encourage more offshore gambling and BPO companies, as well as other businesses, to consider the province as a viable location.
"We encourage both landlords and tenants to explore business opportunities within the Call Center City that the local government proposes to develop with the private sector; build office space that could accommodate non-outsourcing and traditional businesses that require smaller cuts; assess the needs of offshore gambling; and open more flexible workspace," Colliers Philippines stated.
by: Marie Pearl Martinez
"MicroSourcing has an excellent process for survey roll-out, results communication and action planning."
This is just one of the positive comments from the judges of the 2018 Change Challenge Awards, where MicroSourcing Philippines was recognized as the winner in the Enterprise Category. MicroSourcing was chosen from a pool of more than 700 teams and organizations that have done repeat surveys with Voice Project.
The Change Challenge Awards recognizes teams and organizations that have achieved the greatest measurable change in work practices and outcomes. Unlike "best employer" awards that only provides a one-off snapshot of static performance and recognizes the same financially healthy organizations, the Change Challenge Awards focuses on the extent of positive change that has been achieved over time.
The Macquarie University, Griffith University, and the Australian Research Council support research for the Change Challenge Awards. This year's esteemed judges include:
Dr. Peter Langford, Director, Voice Project
Susan Henry, Head of People & Culture, Starlight Children's Foundation
Andrew O'Keefe, Director, Hardwired Humans
Mark Wiggins, Professor of Organisational Psychology, Macquarie University
"In a growing economy like the Philippines, the search for talent can get quite competitive. This makes it even more important to be an employer of choice. By realizing our employees are our core asset and taking action to increase employee engagement, we have been able to achieve employee retention rates that are significantly better than our industry. It also makes MicroSourcing a more fun environment at the same time," said MicroSourcing's CEO, Sjoerd Krosse.
Voice Project is the leading provider of employee engagement, 360-degree leadership, and customer service surveys. It began as a research program at Macquarie University that explores the impact of employee and client "voice" on engagement, leadership, and service quality. They have been MicroSourcing's partner in our Annual Employee Engagement Survey since 2013.
Annually, MicroSourcing encourages its employees to participate in a Valentine's Day activity that is worthwhile and inspiring. This year, MicroMissions organized a fundraising activity in the form of a block movie screening, which was held at Robinsons Galleria MovieWorld Cinema 10. One of the most talked about movies and one of the least known Marvel Superhero, Black Panther, did not disappoint moviegoers.
Having been able to watch the movie, MS employees get to help an orphanage whose name is apt for the Valentine's season. Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children's Home, located in Pasig, houses abandoned, neglected, foundling, and surrendered children since 2007. From the proceeds of the block screening, MicroMissions was able to donate a sanitation facility and a drinking fountain to promote hygiene and give access to potable water to these children. These facilities will be installed with the help of Manila Water Foundation's Lingap Project.
From 234 generous employees, together with their family and friends, a total of PHP 117,000 was raised from this activity.
In January, baking enthusiasts - both beginners and experts - gathered to create delicious pastries to be sold at the MS Banchetto.
21 MicroMissions volunteers went to The Cookery Place in BGC to become chefs du jour to bake the following:
Although the group's main purpose was to raise funds, bonding with fellow volunteers, having fun, and learning something new were also on the agenda. Volunteers from six MS Manila sites were chosen to participate with the commitment to sell the baked goodies in their respective sites.
The money that was raised was used to buy food for the children of Sitio Dumpsite in Barangay San Luis, Antipolo City. This activity is in accordance with our purpose to help fight malnutrition and to stand for the campaign #HANGRYaboutHUNGER by Nestle's United Healthier for Kids.
On January 31, MicroMissions sold baked goods at the MS Banchetto. A total of Php 18,725 was raised and donated to our partner foundation, Reach Out Feed Philippines who bought the ingredients for the lunch meal of kids in Sitio Dumpsite. The amount was good for a week of eating three meals a day for 100 kids.
On February 10, MS employee volunteers grouped to prepare, cook, and pack meals for the children and attendees of the feeding program. A sumptuous meal inclusive of chicken teriyaki, buttered vegetables, rice, and fresh fruit salad was given to hapless kids in order to nourish their bodies. More than 100 kids were given meals and the fresh fruit salad was a hit!
After lunch, Ray Alferez from EV 1880 entertained the kids with a magic show they will not forget. It was a good feeling sharing that amazing moment with the kids and the kids at heart.
Another mission accomplished! On to the next one.
by: Sidney Liquigan
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | Comments (0)
According to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), the contact center sector in the Philippines is still expected to remain as one of the main contributors to the country's economy, despite predicted challenges brought upon by tax reforms and developments in technology, particularly the rise of automation.
Currently, the Philippines' BPO industry has about Php 1.15 billion total revenue. Once it reaches a 16% annual growth pace, the industry's revenue can grow to Php 2 trillion by 2022, making it the main pillar of the Philippine economy, surpassing OFW remittances.
Another proof of the strong performance of the BPO industry, specifically contact centers, the government-sponsored job site PhilJobNet recently released data that shows 17% of the 6,120 active job vacancies posted on the site in the third week of January were call center job openings.
According to CCAP, here are the main reasons why this sector will remain resilient regardless of global and local changes in technology and regulations.
In a white paper by consulting and research firm Everest Group, it said that contact centers in the Philippines are ready for the global industry shift from customer service to customer experience. With the Filipinos' innate quality of being hospitable and helpful, they can benefit the most from this shift by providing a pleasant customer experience and adding a human touch to complement the customer service that will be handled by automation.
At the onset of AI and automation, new high-skill jobs with higher pay rates for BPO workers will be opened. These new employment opportunities are expected to focus on and support a higher level of customer experience.
"We are excited about the new opportunities that are arising within the local contact center sector as we collectively address ongoing shifts focusing on technology and nature of service," said CCAP Chairman Benedict Hernandez.
With contact centers conveniently located in business districts surrounded by many retail businesses, contact center agents make up the majority of the consumers of these retailers. Additionally, the continuous growth of contact centers in the Philippines greatly contributes to the growth of the property industry.
"In 2017, we have seen the highest growth so far in terms of supply," said Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Philippines Regional Director Sheila Lobien. A total of 1.2 million square meters of new call center office space was recorded in 2017. International companies turn to the Philippines for a cost-efficient location for outsourcing services because of low office rental rates (among the lowest in Asia) and low labor costs.
by: Sidney Liquigan
Thursday, April 5, 2018 | Comments (0)
Despite the weak peso, which is currently at an 11-year low against the dollar, consumer spending remains positive. In fact, in the Q4 2017 survey by FT Confidential Research (FTCR), 1,000 urban Filipinos confirmed their attachment to malls. 11% of the respondents said that they go to the malls every day and almost 25% of the respondents said that they will visit malls more often in the next 12% months. Further, 68% of the respondents said that the number of times they go to the malls will remain the same. In terms of spending, more than 25% expressed that they would spend more in the malls, while almost 50% said that their spending would remain the same.
Based on the positive survey results, FTCR expects shopping malls to remain profitable despite high inflation. This optimism among FTCR and consumers is mainly driven by the increased take-home pay as well as the growth of the BPO sector and remittances, the two pillars of the Philippine economy.
While inflation causes the prices of imported products to increase, it also increases the purchasing power of remittances. In 2017, OFWs transferred $1.3 billion, a 5.3% increase from 2016. Meanwhile, in the BPO sector, earnings increased 9.6% YoY in 2017. It was slower compared to 12.8% in 2016, but still on track with industry forecasts.
Thanks to the TRAIN Law, the take-home pay of middle-income workers has increased. And in December, the law will also raise the threshold on non-taxable 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses, allowing consumers to have more money to spend.
by: Sidney Liquigan
At the second Senate hearing on AI's threat on BPO, Senator and Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV urged the government to protect over 1.4 million BPO jobs in the Philippines from impending threats brought upon by AI, the shifting economic policies of other countries, and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
"We must prepare for these threats and not be caught flat-footed," said Sen. Aquino. "Our fellow Filipinos cannot afford to lose their livelihood, especially in these times," he added.
During the first hearing, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) mentioned that by 2022, there will be a decline in demand for low-skilled jobs in the IT-BPO industry of about 43,000 jobs. However, there is also a potential that AI will open up 388,000 mid-skilled jobs and 309,000 high-skilled jobs, which Sen. Aquino hopes the Filipino BPO workers can be ready for.
"The clear solution is to retrain our workers and upgrade their skills to be viable for higher job levels. Our training centers and academic institutions must start offering courses for these higher-skilled BPO jobs," Sen. Aquino said. He also added that these courses could also be offered through scholarships and TESDA vouchers.
Sen. Aquino also emphasized the urgency of the matter, suggesting that government agencies should take action immediately before the threats start to leave the low-skilled BPO workers jobless.
"I want to see urgency in our agencies to move this forward quickly and with purpose. This is the first time in years that the BPO industry will be at risk. We need to protect our countrymen's jobs," he said.
Aside from discussing the threat of AI to the BPO sector in the Philippines, the Senate hearings headed by Sen. Aquino and the Committee on Science and Technology also aim to determine how the TRAIN Law affects the sector and how the effects can be corrected in the next tax reform package.
Sen. Aquino also announced a third hearing that will occur this month.