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Sitel Group®, a global leader in end-to-end customer experience (CX) products and solutions, has extended employment opportunities to bus and jeepney drivers in Baguio that have been unable to work due to the global health crisis. The company, the first business process outsourcing (BPO) firm in the region, has hired over 30 displaced drivers for its newly established workforce transportation fleet.
“Sitel has always been an active member in the Baguio community,” shared Ian Zafra, Vice President of Operations, Sitel Baguio. “We are not only committed to business success and expansion in the region, but also to support and uplift the communities in which we live and work. When the pandemic hit, everyone was struggling to mitigate the challenges of the quarantine and the global health crisis. After spearheading initial fundraising and donation drives, we still looked for other ways that we could help.”
When the community quarantine was put into effect, businesses had to adopt new ways of working. Sitel pivoted to combined in-center and work-from-home operations through careful planning and logistics. Because public transportation was effectively halted, employees had a hard time finding a way to safely get to and from work. At the same time, many transport workers lost their livelihood because buses, jeepneys, and tricycles weren’t allowed to work their regular routes.
Sitel initially launched a van shuttle service for employees ferrying them to and from their homes to company sites. When the quarantine eased and a percentage of public transportation became available again, the company shifted from vans to hiring buses and jeeps.
“Hiring buses and jeepneys for our workforce fleet not only made the initiative more operationally manageable with optimum outflow, but we also had the chance to employ drivers who lost their means of income,” explained Juancho Blanco, Senior Manager, Human Resources, Sitel Baguio. “The implementation was challenging at first however through continuous collaboration with our vendors and feedback and suggestions from our associates, we were able to make adjustments to routes and times and create a smooth daily operation schedule.”
Sitel partnered with Liga ng Transportasyon at Operator ng Pilipinas (LTOP) and created a fleet consisting of 8 buses, 20 jeepneys, and roughly 38 drivers to cover several routes. The fleet transports 1,900 employees daily.
“We’re very grateful to Sitel for giving our drivers, operators, and support personnel a way to still earn a living during the pandemic,” expressed Patricio Evangelista, Regional President CAR & R1, LTOP. “It was difficult for our members to be unable to operate but through this partnership, our drivers and staff were able to rely on a steady source of income when they needed it the most.”
Sitel is thrilled to be working with local transport groups for this initiative. It’s one of the many ways the global BPO is investing back in the local economy and helping the community rise together during these challenging times.
Sitel’s Workforce Transportation Fleet consists 8 buses and 20 jeepneys operated by local drivers.