BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR) and Sitel Baguio during the regular session of the city council on Monday belied claims that over a thousand employees of the business process outsourcing (BPO) firm were retrenched recently.
DOLE-CAR Regional Director Exequiel Ronie Guzman said the company is now applying the redeployment scheme, retraining agents who were affected by the non-renewal of contracts of three accounts being handled by the BPO firm.
He said “three consecutive inspections were conducted in Sitel Baguio during its regular business hours and substantial data were provided to support Sitel Baguio’s claim that they did not terminate the services of over a thousand employees,” he told councilors during the session.
Sitel is the biggest BPO in Baguio and it operates at the Baguio City Export Processing Zone Area (EPZA).
He talked about the laws governing the BPO where he said that employees are only employed during the existence of an account but said that Sitel is the only BPO that has a redeployment plan to protect their employees from being retrenched.
He said this contrary to the information that reached the city council that over a thousand employees of Sitel-Baguio were retrenched.
Sitel vice president for operations Micheal Dela Peña, during the session, explained the redeployment program of the company. He said it happens during a pull out of an account or client.
Employees are given a one month training to make them adept of the new accounts where they will be assigned. During the training, the employees are paid their salaries and receive their benefits. Their tenure as employees is likewise unaffected.
“They have to be trained because each client has different needs and they have to know how to reply to queries,” which necessitates a retraining.
Dela Peña reiterated that Sitel’s redeployment program includes assessment and job matching.
He also explained that all of the employees who underwent the redeployment program were successfully transferred to a different account within two weeks. The others who were not yet trained are those who opted to avail of their leave credits, but can still be trained. There were, however, those who opted to resign.
Dela Peña said, “when an agent from a technical account is expected to be transferred to a sales or financial account, the person must undergo assessment and training again to be equipped before taking in calls”. Nestor Castañeda Jr./PNA-northboundasia.com