SENATOR JV Ejercito is concerned the President’s animosity towards the US could throw millions of Filipinos employed by business process outsourcing (BPO) firms out of jobs.
Sen. Sonny Angara for his part said the country’s economic managers are the best persons to assess the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that the Philippines can survive without foreign investments, particularly from the United States.
Angara pointed to the economic experts when asked whether he agrees with the President’s recent statement that the Philippines can survive should foreign businesses, particularly US-run firms, leave the country.
“Siguro, pag-aralan natin ‘yan. Hindi ko alam ‘yung extent ng foreign direct investments, we can ask our experts,” said Angara in a chance interview.
Ejercito expressed hope that the President’s tirade against the United States will not affect the 1.2 million Filipinos working in BPO (business process outsourcing) companies in the Philippines servicing American clients.
Ejercito made the remark when asked whether he supports the move of Sen. Bam Aquino to conduct an inquiry into the President’s “controversial” foreign policy pronouncements, such as “veering away” from the US but moving closer to China and Russia.
“I am an ally of the President but I am also concerned of his statements. We are also concerned of the possible backlash of the shift, sudden shift from being an ally to China,” he said in a briefing.
“Iyung worry ko talaga d’yan ‘yung more than 1.12 million BPO employees who might lose their jobs once the US and Philippine relations become sour. At least there’s clarification from the President that we don’t have to severe ties,” he said.
He hopes that the government will not sever the ties with the US. “There are a lot of factors especially on the economic side. There might be a backlash.”
“Pero I’m glad also that the President clarified na we do not have to sever ties with US but he just wants to pursue an independent foreign policy. Mukhang ‘yun naman ang gusto niyang mensahe sa buong mundo,” he said.
“I’m just hoping na hindi naman sana natin sirain ‘yung matagal na relasyon sa ating mga kakampi, particular na ang US. S’yempre ‘yung economic benefits, tulad ng BPO industries na lamang. We have about 1.2 million BPO workers who might be affected. Kasi karamihan ng mga firms that are running the BPOs are from the US,” he said.