Asia Journal Online
July 9, 2007
DAVAO CITY – At least three major call center companies are planning to put up facilities here, raising fears of rampant manpower poaching.
Andre Fournier, chairman of the information and communications technology committee of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), said poaching was already a problem in Manila-based call centers.
Instead of strengthening competition, the entry of new players were causing the industry to stagger, he said.
Fournier said the DCCCII is working with existing call centers here to prevent the already booming industry from degenerating.
The city has five existing call centers. Two have been categorized as “big” —G-Com Ltd. and Link 2 Support.
Fournier said these two call center companies were the most apprehensive over the coming of three similarly large IT firms, which include the United States-based Sutherland Global Services.
“DCCCII’s efforts formed part of its commitment to position Davao City on top of the IT environment this year,” he said.
Among the efforts, Fournier said, was the drafting of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with call center companies for the equitable distribution of call agents to thwart poaching.
“The MOA will request call center operators to work together and look at competition from a constructive point of view,” Fournier said.
The MOA empowered IT schools to recommend qualified graduates to work in call centers.
The scheme would help reduce the poaching of manpower, he said.
Fournier said reasonable salaries, better workplaces and security were among the factors being considered to reduce piracy.
Teolulo Pasawa, chief of the Department of Trade and Industry in the city, said the strengthening of the peso has been pushing call centers to move out of Metro Manila.
He said the decision was also based on cheaper cost of labor in the countryside and the availability of areas accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
In this city, PEZA has already accredited the Damosa IT Park in Lanang.
Officials have forecast over P1 billion in earnings and 16,000 jobs by 2010 with the mushrooming of call centers here.
Joji Ilagan-Bian owner of the JIB e-Academy, a call center training facility, said the rosy forecast has prompted her to expand operation in other parts of Mindanao.