Monday, October 29, 2007


Rated PG By Ike Seneres

It is interesting to note that even the American companies that are doing business here in the Philippines are bound by their own laws to comply with Equal Opportunity Employment (EOE). America is several thousand miles away, but the power of their laws reach all the way up to here. In contrast, we do not seem to have EOE laws of our own, and if we do, nobody seems to be minding it.

In my work as Chairman of the Inter-Charity Network (ICN), I am always confronted with the challenge of finding jobs for people who are above 30. That’s right, 30 is not really old, but in this country, workers who are above the “calendar days” are already considered “old”, and therefore above the so called “age limits” here.

Again in contrast, even the local employment agencies that are recruiting for American clients from over here do not impose “age limits”, knowing that it is against American laws. The same is true for those that are recruiting for Canadian companies, indicating that these two countries are far more advanced in their respect for equal opportunity.

Imagine that if workers in their 30’s are already discriminated against, how much more for our senior citizens who are past their 60’s? The truth is, senior citizens are not the only ones discriminated against in this country, because the list also includes handicapped persons, cultural minorities and even women, yes women!

In the darkness of these very discriminatory practices, I have seen the light of day in the now booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industries. I think there is a lot of potential in having outsourced services provided by these marginalized sectors, in cooperation with companies that are committed to the fulfillment of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives. Right now, I have a group of handicapped people who are ready to take on jobs as encoders, after being trained by a foreign foundation. Do we have any takers out there from the CSR programs?

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