When I was young they said that if you study in the best universities of the country like UP, you would have no difficulties finding a job and getting well-paid for it. I have strived for quality education with the intention of finding a job that would compensate well for the skills I’ve worked hard to achieve and learn. Eventually I learned that such is not always the case. In this country that is deep in international debts and filled with greedy and corrupt public servants, most graduates of premier universities find themselves slaves of the BPO industry or candidates for work abroad.
I have had the impression that as a scholar of the country – both when I was in high school and college – I would be working to pay back the taxpayer’s money used to finance my education. I had no inclination that I would be serving foreigners right in my own hometown.
When I went back to Bicol, I was prepared to earn a much lesser salary than what I know I could earn if I was working in Manila. But nothing had prepared me for the reality of how little I could actually earn – and this from reputedly high-paying international companies.
When I left the BPO company I was working for which was paying me a ridiculously small salary, I expected that I would be moving on to a company that would somehow compensate me higher. I was gravely disappointed. I would be earning something even lower (by almost half!) of what I was previously earning – and that is after 3 months of training! For the 3 months of which I am a trainee, I would only earn about a quarter of the daily wage I was earning before. That is what they call an allowance. Not exactly a salary.
My mother kept urging me to be wary of these companies. She kept informing me that these companies have some anomalies in how they transact their business; that just because they are in the province they think they could get away with it. Apparently, it seems that most international companies, particularly of the BPO kind, think that they could expand into provinces and subsequently cut their costs by paying their employees less compared to their Metro Manila counterparts.
Isn’t that a bit unfair? They justify that the cost of living in the province is cheaper compared to Manila but still I think it is unfair to give a ridiculously low salary on that basis. As such what they are paying would not even sustain two persons – it is barely enough even for one. How do they expect those with families to sustain their lives then?
And our government, unfortunately, tolerates such.It seems that for them, as long as they can provide jobs to the jobless, then they are content. They won’t bother to think of the quality of job they provide and whether the international companies are doing an injustice to its employees or not.
These doubts, these questions, unfortunately, I can only air out here. For nowhere in my previous or my current company do I find any avenues to vent them out, lest even to air them. I’m afraid that these companies, they see their employees too often as commodities – as people too desperate for a job that they would jump at anything offered to them. Is this what our country had boiled down to?
The youth are encouraged to finish college educations; to graduate with a college degree; to enter premier universities – for what? To become slaves to international companies that are taking advantage of our country? How long will we remain slaves? Can we not really procure jobs for our own – jobs that would pay the right amount of compensation – fitted to your own skill, education and capacity?
Will we ever get out of the rot that we are in?