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SITEL Puerto Princesa was providing jobs to the pandemic-displaced tourism workers in Puerto Princesa.
City Councilor Matthew Mendoza, Chairman of the Committee on Tourism, said at the plenary Monday that the Vice President for Operations and Cluster Lead of SITEL Puerto Princesa has invited him last week alongside representatives from the association of city tourist guides.
Mendoza said they were told that SITEL can provide 300 to 1,500 jobs for Puerto Princesa’s tourism workers who have been displaced due to the crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the tourism industry, [which is] one of the city’s main industries, consequently affecting a major part of our constituents, who are the tourism frontliners,” said Mendoza.
Efforts of SITEL to assist the upset tourism workforce
Eden Gutierrez, Vice President for Operations and Cluster Lead of SITEL Puerto Princesa said around 100 tourist guides and people from the hotel sector were already employed by SITEL within the last 90 days.
Due to this COVID-19 crisis, Gutierrez stated it is their intention to bring jobs immediately to this displaced sector.
However, she reiterated that once the tourism industry has recuperated, the company is willing to help bring the workforce back to the tourism industry.
“We intend to bring them back to tourism. All the people that we hire from the tourism and the hotel sector, we will give them flexible employment contracts, one that will allow them to come back and serve the tourism industry, as soon as this sector has recovered,” said Gutierrez.
She said they are eager to help the local economy recover ‘to the best of their ability’; including that of sourcing the amenities they need, until the end of 2020, only from within the locality.
Gutierrez said they recognize the role of the community and desire to be its responsible partner.
SITEL Princesa cares for its employees
Gutierrez in her video presentation at the City Council stated that SITEL was shut down on March 16 due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Gutierrez said the site was immediately disinfected and only within a matter of 12 hours from the time its operations halted, has been re-opened to accommodate 50 percent of its in-center skeletal workforce.
“I met with the operations leader right away to make sure that we give flexible work arrangements to our associates ensuring their safety and security. In times of uncertainty, their health and well-being has always been our utmost priority,” said Gutierrez.
SITEL’s dedication to live the spirit of ‘bayanihan’
Gutierrez said they set up a command and food center for their in-center associates providing them complete meal for the day, through tapping different local food providers in the locality.
She further stated that they have also partnered with 10 different hotels near their site to provide accommodations to their associates.
“These partnerships did not only benefit our own associates, but also provided jobs and income to some businesses in the community,” she said.
Gutierrez noted that all of these efforts contributed a total of P16.7-million to the local economy of Puerto Princesa.
She further stated that SITEL has extended efforts and initiatives helping the affected community through cash-and-kind assistance.
Gutierrez said they have deployed the ‘SITEL-at-home solution’ allowing the associates affected by the lockdown to continue working at the comfort of their own homes.
She said the company’s Information Technology and Facilities Team (ITFT) made sure to reach and deploy desktops to associates from north to south of Palawan that were affected by ECQ.
“Amidst the pandemic, SITEL has always believed that we should continue to help the local communities where we operate,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez also mentioned their plan to establish micro-sites in various tourism spots in the province to bring the people further employment opportunity.