BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Business process outsourcing firms in Bacolod City with more than 1,000 employees have adopted 50 to 80 percent work-from-home arrangements, while those with 80 to 90 employees observe a one-seat-apart workplace setup, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.
The BPO firms have been conducting regular enhanced on-site disinfection since the community quarantine started and that there are also physicians and nurses assigned on rotation, Leonardia said.
The mayor said he met online with the representatives of 13 BPO companies in Bacolod early this week to assess their compliance with health protocols for preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The representatives of the BPO firms also requested the city government to provide a list of areas under lockdown so that they can properly arrange working setups for their employees living in these areas.
In the virtual meeting, the mayor told the BPO firm representatives to be strict in implementing the health protocols in their workplace.
The meeting is part the initiatives of the local government unit to fortify its coordination with members of the local private sector in curbing the impact of Covid-19.
Leonardia acknowledged the role that the BPO companies play in the local economy.
“Over the years, we know how valuable you are. We know how much you contributed to Bacolod as a whole. You have made a very great impact on our local economy,” he told the BPO firm representatives.
The mayor also said that a team from the city will make random visits to BPO workplaces to make sure they properly follow health protocols and make assessments on how to improve their working arrangements amid the ongoing health crisis.
The plan was said to be welcomed by the BPO companies.
Meanwhile, Leonardia and City Administrator Em Ang, who presided over the meeting, stressed the importance of real-time reporting of suspected Covid-19 patients working in the BPO industry.
“We start with people who are having symptoms of coronavirus. When you have employees showing those symptoms, report them right away (to the City Health Office),” Ang said.
“We have privacy issues but what is paramount is public health,” Ang added.
Representatives of BPO companies present in the virtual meeting were TelePerformance, iQor, Panasiatic, FGC Plus, TeleQuest, TeleTech, TransCom, Path Cutters, Focus Direct, HYBrain, ConCentrix, Ubiquity, and ARB.*