A dramatic increase in the number of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus / Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (HIV / AIDS) cases was seen in the last quarter of 2009 and first few months of 2010. Confirmed cases rose from 528 in 2008 to an alarming 709 cases last year. In November 2009 alone, the number of cases went as high as 80. According to the Department of Health (DOH), majority of the HIV infected individuals are sex workers, homosexuals, drug addicts and call center agents.
The escalating number of HIV cases in the Philippine BPO service provider industry, especially in call centers is just one of the many health threats that BPO workers encounter. Ever since the start of the industry in the Philippines, it was already linked with health problems due to its nature. Among other common health problems include stress, physical pains and sleep deprivation among others.
Truth be told, the nature of Philippine BPO service jobs is unlike the nature of most jobs. Call centers for example require graveyard shift employees to cater the needs of US clients (US having entirely different time zone from the Philippines). This demand makes employees work during nights and cope with sleep at day– a totally abnormal situation for many. For a fact, sleep during the day is entirely different from having it at night causing bodily disorders for some. Sleep deprivation causes stress, weakening of the immune system and upset mental processes which results to confusion, loss of memory, mode shifts, and irritability. And these personal struggles could gravely affect one's social and family life.
Yes, it may be that BPO jobs in the Philippines pose health threats to employees but it is also noteworthy that any other job also has their own set of health-related and safety issues. Construction and hazardous industries workers, for example, are continuously exposed to danger while those in the armed forces are close to criminal elements that may endanger their lives and families. Fact is, danger and health risks can be anywhere and everywhere.
What makes the difference, however, is the way these threats are being addressed and the kind of preventive methods that company and individuals practice. Understanding these threats and devising ways to avoid them is very important as much as self-discipline and common sense.
Philippine BPO service provider companies can greatly help in the promotion of a healthy and safe workplace. Some companies today are studying ways to provide welfare facilities for their employees. Stress Debriefing programs, intensified health care benefits, regular medical check-ups, counseling programs and others can greatly help personal, health and mental burdens of workers. As for sexually-related issues, raising high ethical and moral standards in the company as well as installation of surveillance cameras can help avoid sexual encounters in the workplace thus, minimizing the possibilities of STDs among workers. Above all, maintaining a clean working environment is the most important.
The government should make necessary actions to promote health and safety in the rising Philippine BPO industry. A law …Read More
- “Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.”
— George Matthew Adams
- “The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”
— Louisa May Alcott
- “Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever.”
— Bess Streeter Aldrich
- ” The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!”
— Charles N. Barnard
- “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
— Peg Bracken
- “The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung.”
— Phillips Brooks
- “I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never aone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”
— Taylor Caldwell
- “Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.”
— Charlotte Carpenter
- “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
— Calvin Coolidge
- “Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know. Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man.”
— Margaret Cousins
- “Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’.”
— Bing Crosby
- “Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.”
— Grace Noll Crowell
- “It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit.”
— Isabel Currier
- “Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.”
— Hugh Downs
- “They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart.”
— Mrs. Paul M. Ell