Tuesday, July 21, 2009

07-21-2009: Communist rebels kills 3 innocent civilians near Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental: The New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros on Sunday apologized for an ambush staged in Toboso town, about 30 miles east of Bacolod City. The ambush left three civilians dead and three other civilians wounded. A priest that turned rebel Frank Fernandez, NPA spokesman, in a statement said that an investigation was being conducted to identify those responsible for the attack.

On July 13, communist rebels fired at a pick-up truck and killed Edmar Sultan, 14, a student of the Toboso National High School (TNHS); Ena Pata, 50; and Rodolfo Salipod, 56, the driver.

The provincial government and church officials have condemned the NPA ambush. “I condemn senseless killings, especially of innocent people like children, who get caught in the middle and become helpless victims,” Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra said.

Army Colonel Maximo Caro of the 303rd Infantry Brigade said the NPA apology would not bring back the lives of the victims. “There is simply no justification that they could offer to legitimize the killing of civilians or destruction of properties,” he said.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

07-01-2009: Transcom opens call center in Bacolod for Sears client

Transcom wants to hire, but experts point to recruitment challenges in Bacolod

Adding to the booming Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in Bacolod, largely dominated by TeleTech, Teleperformance, and Convergys, Transcom (a Swedish BPO firm) will start its operations in the city on August 1, a press release from the firm said.

“We have arrived. The plan has been in the making for more than a year. We will start our operations on August 1,” Transcom Philippines Country Manager Siva Subramaniam said.

According to the press release, by the end of 2009, Transcom will be hiring 2,000 agents for 1,000 seats.

Yet local industry experts, already understanding that there's a lack of qualified new recruits in Bacolod, are questioning the validity of such goals.

Truth: Recruitment challenges await Transcom
While the city government heralds this new arrival as an achievement, there are some that question the sanity of the decision to tell Transcom they can do such a fast ramp.

"All of the call centers are already having a hard time hiring capable people that can speak English," said one recruiter from one of Transcom's competitor.

"Imagine, we have another player, so this essentially left all of us in the path to failure collectively. Everyone I know in town has already failed recruitment targets. Did they lie about what's really going on? To hit a target of 2,000 agents in such a short time requires lowering your English quality or hiring terminated agents that's already failed in that regard."

Sears lays off its own employees for Transcom
North American retailer, Sears, will be the first client of Transcom. Sears originally had a relationship with Nucomm, a Canadian outsourcing company which had a site in Manila. Nucomm was bought out by Transcom in 2007.

Sears officials told its own employees in June 2009 it will be outsourcing 230 jobs at the Belleville catalogue call centre to a separate Canadian company (Nucomm) which has a location in Bacolod, Philippines.

Sears spokesman Vincent Power said most of the calls not being handled by Sears Canada would be directed to the call center in the Philippines.

Bacolod Beat attempted to ask Sears why they chose Bacolod, a city that's already struggling to meet the demand for capable English speaking agents. They did not comment or respond.

Karen Poste, a spokesperson for the City of Belleville, confirmed the job losses to Bacolod News. "What I can tell you is that our understanding of the job loss in Belleville is the same as yours."
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