PNOY speech at the groundbreaking of Sutherland Global Services’ new facility in Carmona, Cavite


Speech
of
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
At the groundbreaking ceremony of Sutherland Global Services’ new facility in Carmona, Cavite
[Delivered in Carmona, Cavite, on May 9, 2012]
Secretary Greg Domingo; Secretary Joel Villanueva; Congressman Roy Loyola; Mr. Dilip Vellodi; of course, we have to call on Mr. Kumar; Mr. Iris Goldfein; Mayor Dahlia Loyola and the Municipal Council of Carmona, Cavite; Congressman Ayong Maliksi; officials and staff Sutherland Global Services, Inc.; fellow workers on government; honored guests; mga minamahal ko pong kababayan:
Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.
Through the years, we have witnessed the Philippines’ transformation from an emerging to a leading player in the IT-BPO sector. In 2011, the BPO sector earned 11 billion dollars and was responsible for around 640,000 direct jobs. By the time I step down in 2016, we are looking at revenues that will have more than doubled to 25 billion dollars and 4.5 million jobs—1.3 million directly as a result of the BPO sector and 3.2 million indirect jobs. It will take a lot of hard work from all of us to get to that point, but judging by our presence here today, we are making considerable progress in that direction.
Today, we are breaking ground on this three-hectare, 50-million dollar facility, which will provide an additional 8,000 seats—or up to 24,000 new jobs, given three-shift deployments. [Applause]
I’d like to think of today’s ceremony as a testimony to the power of multiples. Each seat has its multiple in jobs created, and each job created has its multiples in opportunities. Right now, your company employs more than 13,000 Filipinos heading to 15,000. And of your 30,000, you have given us half and the other half has been divided amongst nine countries. If you maintain this ratio, we are very happy and we will be happier if you want to increase the ratio. We will endeavor to make you convinced that that is the route to go to. These are Filipinos who will have enough income to buy more products. Companies will have to increase production and hire more people. Street vendors will have to stock a few more snacks and beverages. In the end, your effect on our economy extends much farther than the jobs you’re directly responsible for. Again, on behalf of our people, I thank you for the role in growing our economy and, more importantly, for your belief in our countrymen, who have the skill, the creativity, and the work ethic to propel any company to even greater heights.
You have tested the waters here, and you were happy with the results. You have found that it isn’t just more fun in the Philippines, but also more profitable. Let me assure you: We will continue to endeavor to keep it this way if not to improve the conditions.
How are we doing this? We are making sure that companies will find enough qualified workers here. This is the idea behind the Industry-based Training for Work Scholarship Program, which aims to equip our countrymen with the required skills to succeed in industries that are hiring. We have set aside half a billion pesos for this program, and as of May 2012, we have disbursed 215 million of that. With the good work of TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva behind me, [applause] close to 36,000 Filipinos have benefited from this program. And if he doesn’t continue producing, we know who to blame. [Laughter] Our administration has also been undertaking the Advanced English Pre-Employment Training Program, which allows a greater transfer of knowledge from our English teachers to our students.
And these efforts to keep companies like you here have manifested itself in billions of pesos and centavos. In 2011, we approved 746.8 billion pesos in investments, 37.6 percent higher than the 542.7 billion in 2010. Might I add: Since we took office in July 2010, PEZA has generated 465 billion pesos in new investments. This accounts for 23 percent of all investments in PEZA in the last 17 years. And I understand that Sutherland has played a significant role in this, recently being admitted into the PEZA Hall of Fame for your excellence and longevity. [Applause] Being inducted into the Hall of Fame says you have won it consistently for three years in succession. You are promoted to the Hall of Fame to give others a chance.
We hope for your continued presence here in the years to come—garnering even more distinctions and creating even more jobs for our people. At the end of the day, we must tread up road to progress together. Our government, our private sector, and our people—from managers to customer service agents—all have to answer a greater call. We need to continue working shoulder to shoulder if we are to achieve our collective desire for prosperity. And it can be done—as we have already seen in our initial achievements. May today serve as a resounding message from our country to the world: We are open for business; we are ready to work and grow together.
And before I end, if my memory serves me correctly, during the martial law years they set up a housing community in this city. Unfortunately, they decided to put up the toilets first before the houses, and eventually, all the funds were expended building the toilets and the houses were never built. So in Tagalog, it was called “Kubeta Village.” In English that would be the “Toilet Village.” So I guess, it symbolizes what wrong governance is, and today’s groundbreaking, and of course the developments in Carmona and in Cavite in particular, highlight what the difference can be with good governance laying the milieu for better investments to come in and, especially, for opportunities to redound for all.
Thank you for your trust in the Philippines. Thank you for believing that we are indeed open for business under new management. Rest assured that we will always endeavor to prove that your decision to come here was the right decision. Thank you.