Business Leaders, DepEd Secretary Abad
Discuss Outsourcing and Education
|Sec. Florencio Abad and FNF's Dr. Ronald
Meinardus share a joyful moment. FEF fellow Ernest Leung is
seen at the back.
In the face of what has been termed the “call center
boom” in the Philippines
, the Foundation for Economic
Freedom (FEF) in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
(FNF) held a public forum on May 31, 2005 in Makati City to analyze
the competitiveness of the Philippines in this growing international
The president and CEO of C-Cubed Services Mr. Jose Xavier Gonzales
set the tone with a presentation from an industry practitioner’s
angle. “Call centers have been the big winners in this century,”
he said adding that the Philippine government hoped to triple
the employment in this industry to 300,000 in the next few years.
Mr. Gonzales enumerated the problems confronting the outsourcing-business
in this country, pointing to the lack of qualified applicants
as the most serious constraint. The majority of the graduates
leaving the educational system don’t meet the professional
standards, said Mr. Gonzales, who quoted surveys showing that
less than seven percent of Philippine high school students
were proficient in the English language.
Confronted with this bleak assessment, Department of Education
(DepEd) Secretary, Florencio “Butch” Abad outlined
his agenda to improve the quality of Philippine education.
“Our country faces a dire situation in providing basic education
and it will take a long time before we turn the situation around,”
the secretary said. To overcome the challenges Secretary Abad
is determined to empower the local communities: “It is time
for the local communities to retake their schools. It is time
to move away from a centralized bureaucratic approach, the
schools should be autonomous learning institutions.”
In his opening remarks, FNF Resident Representative Dr. Ronald
Meinardus gave an international perspective. He said in Europe
four out of 10 firms have begun to relocate service operations
abroad and this has caused massive unemployment in many countries.
“For many European white collar workers this is a very negative
result of globalization,” Dr. Meinardus said. At the same
time, he concluded, outsourcing presents a chance for
countries in the Southern hemisphere to attract new investments,
job opportunities and development.
You may view the powerpoint presentations of Secretary Abad and
Mr. Gonzales by clicking here.