BPAP urges govt to relax holiday economics policy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 10 2009 07:23 PM | Updated as of Feb 11 2009 03:23 AM

The government should relax its holiday economics policy to ease the effects of the global financial crisis on local contact center companies, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) said.

BPAP CEO Oscar Sanez called for a reduction in the number of holidays, and for an internal arrangement to allow call centers to scale down operations during US holidays. The proposal, Sanez said, has been backed by the American Chamber of Commerce.

Sanez said less holidays declared by the government would cut costs, since employees get a double pay for going to work on a holiday, and a 30-percent premium on their daily rate should they work overtime.

With contact center workers paid anywhere between P15,000 to P25,000 monthly, Sanez said companies spend P6 million to P8 million just on manpower expenditure for each holiday.

Part of this proposal, Sanez said, is for government release the schedule of holidays in advance so companies can take such into consideration in preparing their budget.

Sanez also called for "holiday banking," which allows employers and employees to come up with an internal arrangement allowing workers to observe Philippine holidays during the US holidays--when call centers can afford to scale down operations.

The DOLE, Sanez said, has already sent BPAP an advisory letter allowing for the holiday banking scheme as long as such does not lead to reduced employee benefits. With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News