DOH, DOLE to launch SEX for call center agents

by Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 25 2013 11:31 AM | Updated as of May 25 2013 07:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Alarmed by the unhealthy lifestyle of many call center agents, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Labor and Employment will introduce SEX among these workers.

But it is SEX that stands for stress-free, eat the right food and exercise.

The introduction of SEX among call center agents is the objective of the iCare Healthy Lifestyle Office Caravan project that was launched yesterday at the DOH office in Manila.

Under the project, teams of experts from the DOH will go to business process outsource (BPO) companies to conduct a 30-minute lecture about healthy lifestyle and how they could relieve stress before office hours for three months.

Those who will be found needing medication will be assisted.

“We’ll make sure that this will not be just a ningas kugon (something that does not last) because after three months, we’ll go back and assess the agents. And then after six months and then one year, we’ll go back again,” said Ethelyn Nieto, former DOH undersecretary and chair of the technical working group for the iCare project.

The project will be piloted next month in 30 BPO companies in Metro Manila, covering some 200,000 call center agents.

It will be conducted in coordination with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines and the Call Center Association of the Philippines. It is sponsored by Century Tuna, Asia Brewery and United Laboratory’s RiteMed for vitamins.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Tayag said the iCare project was conceptualized to raise awareness on healthy lifestyles among call center agents, who mostly live unhealthy lifestyle as their work schedule leads them to smoking and lack of sleep.

Nieto said many call center agents are also into unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle, exposing them to various illnesses like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

“We would want to change their lifestyle. We cannot order them to do it. We are just empowering them so that they will take care of their lives. It’s not us dictating them. We’ll just teach them how to do it,” she said.

Nieto said the project was developed after 60 percent of 1,500 call center agents who underwent “bio impedance analysis” in 2012 were found to have higher metabolic age than their chronological age.

“That means they look older, or their body is older than their actual age. They are very stressed out,” she explained.

“There is an index to know if you look your age or if your body is older than your actual age. That is how we will be assessing the risk of these call center agents,” she added.