Representative Terry Ridon of Kabataan Party list is hoping that third time’s the charm as he re-filed the House Bill 1180 or the BPO Workers’ Welfare and Protection Act of 2013 on Wednesday July 10.
The said bill was first filed on the 14th Congress by former Kabataan party list Representative Raymond Palatino. After his first failed attempt, Mr. Palatino re-files it in 15th Congress but failed to even get passed the committee level. Now it’s up to current Representative Ridon to continue the fight.
“As we file this bill for the third time, we are confident that it will muster the support, not only of the agents but of call center owners and managements as well. There is no reason for owners and managers to oppose this measure. Improving the agents’ welfare will also mean greater productivity and lower workforce attrition rate for them,”
For the benefit of those who are just reading about this bill for the first time, the House Bill 1180 “seeks to promote and protect the rights of Filipinos working in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies across the country.” Below are the key proponents of the bill:
• Regularization of all BPO workers upon the sixth month of employment as trainee or apprentice, or upon the completion of a maximum probationary training period of six months.
• Standardized restroom breaks not shorter than five minutes each, with intervals of two hours during their working hours.
• Entitlement to medical benefits upon entry in the BPO company and not merely upon regularization.
• Right to Self-Association, to engage in Collective Bargaining, and to participate in Democratic Exercises
With more than 770,000 (and still growing) BPO workers all over the country, it’s only logical for government officials to pass/implement laws that would improve the quality of work environment for call center employees. However, I can’t say that I totally agree with some the key provisions of this bill which I’ll explain in a separate article.