News : Bus Rides for Cebu City Call Center Agents Soon
Cebu City, Philippines, Sept 16, 2016 -- Call center agents employed in Cebu City, especially those working on graveyard shift will soon need not worry about going home in the wee hours of the morning.
This, after Mayor Tomas Osmena, in his regular news conference yesterday, said that the City Government, in cooperation with call centers in the IT Park and Ceres Tours will provide bus rides for the employees.
"The biggest concern of call center agents is working at night. It’s not safe. The cost of transportation is high and they get inadequate service from transportation operators," he said.
The mayor met with the executives of all the major call centers in the city last Thursday to discuss issues affecting the employees. With the operation of the buses, Osmeña said issues on trip cutting will be addressed.
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This would mean that those residing in Mandaue City will no longer have to stop by Gaisano Country Mall in Barangay Banilad before taking a jeepney ride to their houses.
"We’re going to put up the bus rides in the evening up to early morning. For call center agents, the bus rides will take you directly to Mandaue, Talisay and other places in the city. This would make things easier for our call center agents," Osmeña said. The City, however, has yet to identify the number of buses to be deployed and the fare.
The mayor clarified that the fare will remain "normal" and added that what’s important is that the workers will no longer need to transfer from one passenger vehicle to another.
He said the City will have to first conduct an inventory on the number of call center agents to further map out the bus routes.
Aside from this, Osmeña said more volunteers in the neighborhood watch will be needed near call centers for added security.
For the long-term program, the mayor is planning to introduce a lodging industry of boarding houses in urban poor areas in the different barangays in the city.
"We have to organize as soon as we can evaluate the number of people there. Eventually, we’re going to have all these call center agents in one area, in one sitio," he said.
Although Osmeña has not set a specific timeframe, he said the formal operation of the program would be a "seamless transition."
Last July, the World Bank expressed interest in call center agents and the urban poor settlement.
The World Bank suggested the provision of security in the homes of the city’s call center agents as they are contributing to its economic growth.
It was learned that most of the 120,000 call center workers in the city reside in informal settlements in Barangays Luz, Apas, Kamputhaw and Lahug.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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