Call centre workers - lifestyles outside the "moral" framework of the Philippines

While the Catholic Church and its morality police recruits among government policy makers continue to deadlock debate around reproductive health and abortion, an entire generation of Filipinos are coping as best they can with the extreme work environments offered by the call centres and other BPO operations that employ them, not to mention the unconventional lifestyles these workers lead as a result. As the outsourcing operations hosted in the Philippines start to catch up in terms of total value contributed to the economy, social services that support the special needs of its workers need to be boosted.

Much of these special needs are around:

(1) the unusually stressful nature of the work; and,

(2) the exposure to living situations that put pressure on workers' frameworks of "values" and "mores".

According to an AFP report published on the ABS-CBN News site, living conditions, odd hours, and high incomes are creating an entire new and unprecedented social context for outsourcing workers. Much of the new social context revolves around an increased permissiveness within this community of workers...
"What shocked us most was that for both call-centre and non call-centre workers the level of premarital sex was very high," [Josefina Natividad, a professor with the University of the Philippines' Population Institute] said, citing a health and lifestyle survey on young Filipinos completed by her team this year.

Heavy drinking and smoking, rising childbirths out of wedlock, and high consumption of junk food also stood out.

"The world is different now, and the single thing driving this I'm sure is technology," Natividad said.

These are things that cannot be addressed unless an open and honest debate around the real issues is had. But with our supposedly secular government held hostage by a Catholic Mafia that likes to pretend that such realities are non-issues easily dismissed using 2,000 year-old intimidation tactics, getting the right root causes highlighted so that the right systemic solutions are implemented is going to be an uphill battle.


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