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Philippine Central Bank Hit for Outsourcing Manpower in Banking Special

By Antonio Figueroa     Feb 4, 2010 in Business
MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country’s premier banking institution, is at the center of a raging controversy after it issued a circular allowing the outsourcing of human resources in banks and other financial institutions.
Leading the campaign to withdraw the order is Susan Ople, a former labor undersecretary, who warned that outsourcing manpower in banking institutions “will lead to the wholesale replacement of hundreds and thousands of regular bank employees with agency-hired contractual workers at lower pay, less experience, and with no job security at all."
Ople, who is running for the Philippine Senate, has challenged the central bank to explain the legal and moral grounds behind its pro-outsourcing circulars.
"We cannot afford to shed more full employment jobs amid rising unemployment and underemployment rates. This is a fight for economic survival for regular employees not just in the banking sector, but everywhere else," she said.
Even leaders of the banking and financial unions such as those in the Philippine National Bank (PNB), Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI), Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Citibank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) and Planters' Bank (PB) have already expressed opposition to the circular.
BSP Circular 268 has set policies outsourcing jobs to service providers.
Among the operations that can be outsourced are information technology systems and processing, data imaging, storage and retrieval, clearing and processing of checks, printing of bank deposit statements, credit card services, printing of bank loan statements, credit investigation and collection, processing of export, import and other trading transactions, messenger, courier and postal services, security services and vehicle service contracts.
Ople, daughter of former International Labor Organization (ILO) head Blas F. Ople, said under the circular only managerial positions would be retained, leading to retrenchment and the weakening of trade unions in the banking industry.
Warning that the BSP the circular would elicit a firestorm of protest from bank employees if not withdrawn, the labor leader also expressed antipathy why such edict would be issued even before a thorough discussion with affected stakeholders could be made.
"Such [kind of] issuances given its impact on the lives of so many bank employees,” she stressed, “should have gone through consultations [first] with bank unions, the labor department, and other stakeholders,” adding that the central bank should realize that one of the major push factors for migration of Filipinos is the lack of regular jobs in the country.
More about Central bank, Manpower outsourcing, Labor banking
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