Skip to content

Edu Manzano’s Anti-Capitalist, Statist Rants Versus Call Center Industry

February 18, 2010

The solution to poverty and joblessness  is for the government to decontrol and let the job creators and the people mind their own business!

Administration’s vice-presidential candidate and movie actor Edu Manzano blames the rise of the call center industry for

Admit it, the call center industry is the crowning glory of Gloria Arroyo's economic legacy.

Admit it, the call center industry is the crowning glory of Gloria Arroyo's economic legacy.

young people’s lack of interest in pursuing higher learning. In an Inquirer report, the actor-turned-politician expressed concern that the country’s biggest job creator is pulling young people away from professional disciplines.

“To be globally competitive, what is being looked at today is having PhDs (and the) mechanisms where students are active (and) vying for higher learning,” he said during a forum held at the University of the Perpetual Help System in Binan, Laguna. Echoing the vision of his teammate, presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, the actor-politician called for the “revisiting” of the education system in the country.

Manzano is simply reverberating the statist pragmatism and economic defeatism of the Arroyo administration that doubled the size of the government and its debt in a period of nine years. He is merely expressing the dominant trend and the collective ‘mentality’- hatred of the good for being the good- that is poisoning people’s mind in this country. Yes, the ugly face of this mentality is toting its reptilian head, and on its forehead it is written: Anti-Capitalism. I should not single out Mr. Manzano and his party, because all presidential aspirants and their ilk are bearing the same anti-capitalist, statist, pro-poor slogan.

Manzano is simply echoing the statist pragmatism and economic defeatism of the Arroyo administration that doubled the size of the government and its debt in a period of nine years.

Perhaps Manzano is not convinced that the rise of the call industry that created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country truly yielded positive results. Perhaps he’s intimating that something must be done in order to solve what he calls “problem.”

“There’s a problem,” he said. “‘Wag ho sanang magagalit yung iba sa ‘tin dito, pero maraming first year college tapos umaalis. Call center! Ang starting sa call center P16,000; dalawa sa pamilya P32,000; maginhawa na ang buhay ng pamilyang iyon (But there’s a problem, I hope I’m not offending some of you, but a lot of first year drop out of school to work in a call center. The starting salary in a call center is P16,000. Two in the family, that would be P32,000. That already makes a good living).”

I don’t want to go to extremes by assuming that Manzano is simply showing his elitist tendencies by driveling on about the ‘negative effect’ of this industry on young people’s behavior and ambition. I don’t think his pathetic rant was intended to belittle  talented and hardworking young people who chose to make a living rather than pursue a college degree. The problem with Manzano is not that he totally underestimated the economic value of the call center industry and the young people who work as call center agents, but that his anti-capitalist, statist drivel or gibberish is good-intentioned, and this what makes him a dangerous politician.

Manzano claimed that based on his “personal study,” call center workers accounted for the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, alcoholism, problems in the family and low self-esteem.

He went on to say that these problems caused by the job-generating industry “are social causes.” “We can’t have that kind of citizenry (but) we need educated citizenry if we plan to move forward,” Manzano said.

“There is nothing wrong with the system, but the status (in the) system.”

What did Manzano mean when he said “we can’t have that kind of citizenry?” Was he trying to imply that something must be done to the call center industry? That it must be controlled, regulated and restrained by the government? Was he trying to imply that there must be some ways to control the behavior of the job creators, as well as the choices of the job-seekers?

The problem with Manzano is not that he totally underestimated the economic value of the call center industry and the young people who work as call center agents, but that his anti-capitalist, statist drivel or gibberish is good-intentioned, and this what makes him a dangerous politician.

The problem with Manzano is that he missed the fundamental law of logic— the law of identity and the law of causality. The law

Is Edu Manzano fit for vice-president?

Is Edu Manzano fit for vice-president?

of identity would tell him that there must be some reason why most young people choose to work, and that’s because they realize that there are no good jobs waiting for them after they graduate. That most young people seek jobs because of the worsening state of poverty in the country. The law of causality would tell him that this country is poor because of corruption and dysfunctional government programs and excessive government controls and regulation of the economy. That this country is poor because it’s not attractive to foreign investors.

According to 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the Philippines has an economic freedom score of 56.3, making its economy the 109th freest in the 2010 Index. Our country ranks 20th out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is slightly below the world and regional averages.

Indeed, Manzano wants to double the size of the government through a flurry of controls, regulations and welfare statist programs. Like his running-mate Gibo Teodoro, Manzano’s political proposal is to officially make this country a “Nanny or Mommy State.”

He said the Philippine government has been spending only $134 per student per year, while countries such as Singapore and Japan have been spending $1,800 and $5,000, respectively, for each of their students. This proves that he wants to make the government the provider of people’s needs. Echoing Teodoro’s “nanny state ‘program, Manzano promised more tuition loans, scholarships and grants to the students.

“At the same time, let us not forget that teachers have the greatest multiplier effect…Youth is the hope of the nation but who hones their beliefs and attributes?” he said, drawing applause from the audience.

The administration bets should never forget that the call center industry is the source of economic pride of their party leader, incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Mrs. Arroyo has been boasting that she created millions of jobs in just a very short period of time thanks to job-creating call center companies. If not for these job-creators, Mrs. Arroyo would have been removed from office long ago through a bloody, leader-less uprising. If not for these job-creators, the government would have been forced to tax the people or borrow money from foreign creditors.

Mr. Manzano claimed he conducted his personal study, which led him to believe that call center workers accounted for the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse, alcoholism, problems in the family and low self-esteem. If this is the case, I assume that Manzano is simply a bad researcher. Did he not discover there are also many young people who work as call center agents to support their studies? For example, I have several classmates who work for high-paying call center companies that offer not only high compensation package, but medical and dental benefits as well. Because of competition, these most-hated businesses by the leftists and statists were forced to offer higher compensation package and more benefits.

In 2001 we gave her the highest job in the country only to corrupt government institutions, issue statist edicts that breached our individual rights, make hundreds of millions through picking stocks, turn a blind eye to some members of her family who benefited from peddling government favors, and double the size of our government and its debt.

I have a classmate who’s earning more than trice the monthly salary of a public school teacher. While she observed that most Filipino-owned companies are not appreciative of the competence and contributions of their employees, she said that most American-owned or foreign-owned call center firms offer higher compensation and more benefits.

Yes, Mr. Manzano missed the fact that there are many young people who also consider their call center jobs a building block of their future plans and ambition. No, Mr. Manzano, this country doesn’t need PhDs but economic freedom and more respect for individual rights.

Also, this actor-politician is guilty of non sequitur fallacy and hasty generalization. He assumed that it is the “job” that leads young people to indulge in vices and immoral behavior. It does not follow. Jobs ‘per se’ do not turn people into unthinking brutes. He spoke of “social causes” which he did not define nor elaborate. Even if a person holds the best job in the world, it is still his choice to be immoral or not.

Just look at the curious case of President Arroyo who is a product of an elite education institution. In 2001 we gave her the highest job in the country only to corrupt government institutions, issue statist edicts that breached our individual rights, make hundreds of millions through picking stocks, turn a blind eye to some members of her family who benefited from peddling government favors, and double the size of our government and its debt. Between a president who ruined a country’s self-esteem and liberty and an 18-year-old call center agent, the latter is more honorable and respectable. Between Manzano who firmly believes in the crucial role of big government and an 18-year-old call center agent, the latter is more dependable because he knows the importance of reality-based economics to his/her life.

To Mr. Manzano, the solution is not to put the blame on job creators who help uplift the country’s economy. The solution is not to feel sorry for these young people who, instead of pursuing much-hyped college degree or professional disciplines, choose to work for a living. The solution is not “nanny statism” or “welfarism.” The solution is to decontrol and let the job creators and the people mind their own business. It has been proven that the government cannot be trusted in anything, let alone babysit its people.

There’s ONLY ONE WAY for a President or any politician to improve the economy and the lives of the people: Let the job and wealth creators mind their own business. The government is not or should not be in a business of job creating. Do not vote for any presidential contender who tells you that his primary goal is to create jobs. Even our semi-socialist Constitution does not mandate the President to create jobs. To improve our economy the government must decontrol, let the businesses do their jobs, and respect and protect individual rights.

The government must lower income and corporate taxes by half, if necessary, in order to attract domestic and foreign investors. Logic tells us that if there were more companies, large or small, doing business in an economy, there would be more jobs and taxpayers, thus a higher tax collection for the government. The government must deregulate and respect competition and the free market principles. If there’s unbridled competition, businesses would be compelled to lower their prices and offer more efficient services and better quality of products to consumers. It must also privatize the incompetent government owned and controlled corporation (GOCCs) that are a source of corruption, nepotism and cronyism. Let the competent capitalists run these government-owned firms. This is what I call  CLEAR AND CONCRETE ECONOMIC PLATFORM!

Related blog story: Gibo Teodoro’s Marshall Plan and his “Nanny State” Politics

27 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 3:38

    I’ll just disagree with you on the whole productivity part. Individual choices and profiteering do not necessarily produce the best results. Free will is a tad bit more complex than that. I agree with Manzano that in order to be productive Filipinos have to train more on education. We do need more PhD’s, more teachers, more nurses, more engineers etc. Assuming of course you expect the country to feed itself by becoming call centers?

    • February 18, 2010 3:38

      “I’ll just disagree with you on the whole productivity part. Individual choices and profiteering do not necessarily produce the best results.”

      What would produce the best results then? Government controls and intervention? Individual choice must be respected and businesses have the right to the profits or fruits of their products. It is profits that motivate businessmen to create wealth and produce more jobs. If you remove this aspect (profit) and sacrifice businesses in the name of common good, then you are going against everything you preach, such as “development,” “progress,” “good” or “wealth,” and so on. This is what is happening now in Venezuela.

      “We do need more PhD’s, more teachers, more nurses, more engineers etc.”

      The evidence is all around you. Where will you put all these nurses, PhDs, engineers, teachers, etc. without capitalists who are willing to invest and create jobs and wealth? The only destination of these professionals are the first world countries that offer greener pasture. And this is what is happening today. All we need is economic freedom and more respect for individual rights. The government must deregulate to attract more investors. If we Filipinos cannot create wealth (especially the revolutionary businesses), then we must be humble enough to admit that we need foreign capitalists who are good at what they do.

      “Assuming of course you expect the country to feed itself by becoming call centers?”

      I expect this country to decontrol and let the creators of wealth and jobs do their business. I also expect this government and the politicians to thank the creators of wealth and jobs and not disparage them! If the government decontrolled and respected free market principles, we wouldn’t only attract foreign capitalists who produce call center jobs, but capitalists who also specialize in other industries. This is the only way for this government to create jobs other than call center jobs. Consider the case of Intel that shut down its business due to government regulations and unfriendly corporate tax rate in this country.

      Like I said, “The government must lower income and corporate taxes by half, if necessary, in order to attract domestic and foreign investors.”

  2. John permalink
    February 18, 2010 3:38

    Edu Manzano is brave on stating that the call center industry is not good for the Philippines in the long run. I agree with him that the country needs scientists and engineers in order to progress in the 21st century.

    • February 18, 2010 3:38

      I don’t think Edu Manzano is brave enough to utter what he said. I’d rather think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      The government cannot produce scientists without any economic incentive that would encourage/inspire young people to take technical, highly specialized courses. When I say economic incentive, I mean existing industries and job-creating ventures waiting for the country’s new graduates.

      Before taking on the call center industry that’s helping save our economy, you must THINK why young people are taking call center jobs. Apart from poverty, the reason for this is because most young people today see what’s happening around them. There are thousands of nursing graduates who can’t find a decent job in the Philippines because there are no job creators. They see new engineers, architects, PhDs, etc. who remain jobless because there are no job creators to offer specialized jobs.

      It is not the government that helps encourage the production of new scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, nurses that Mr. Manzano mentioned. It is the existence (or potentiality) of new industries and job-creating ventures/businesses that would encourage young people to become what Mr. Manzano mentioned. Also, it is the existence of economic freedom that would encourage people to invest and do business.

      I repeat, the only way to establish an economic incentive that would encourage young people to be engineers, architects, PhDs, etc. is to foster economic freedom and respect individual rights in this country.

      I don’t have to be an economist or a PhD to understand this.

  3. February 19, 2010 3:38

    I assumed that all of our candidates will never accept and agree to the idea that the ONLY PROPER FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT is the protection and preservation of individual rights to live his own life by his own effort; that is through army, police and courts of law. Adding other functions (brother’s keeping) is an idea that is primarily taught in our school and accepted morality of the majority of our people. I have not heard any candidate promise to cut taxes, cut loans either domestic and foreign; but promises to provide whatever the public needs just to be voted.

    • February 19, 2010 3:38

      “I have not heard any candidate promise to cut taxes, cut loans either domestic and foreign; but promises to provide whatever the public needs just to be voted.”

      Yes, this is why this presidential election is so, so boring!

  4. XLII permalink
    February 20, 2010 3:38

    Some people see education as a means to make a living, and the call center industry is, for SOME, a way to “escape” education (i.e. someone will drop out of college to work). I think he just wants to slow the call center industry down so people will “think long-term” and pursue higher learning, because abolishing the industry completely is nuts (and impossible). The idea, though flawed, is a step in the right direction with respect to making education about learning and not just getting a job.

    as a form of digression, who are you voting for, if at all?😀

  5. XLII permalink
    February 20, 2010 3:38

    -EChua.

    • February 20, 2010 3:38

      It’s plain and simple, Mr. Manzano doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Like I stated above:

      Before taking on the call center industry that’s helping save our economy, you must THINK why young people are taking call center jobs. Apart from poverty, the reason for this is because most young people today see what’s happening around them. There are thousands of nursing graduates who can’t find a decent job in the Philippines because there are no job creators. They see new engineers, architects, PhDs, etc. who remain jobless because there are no job creators to offer specialized jobs.

      It is not the government that helps encourage the production of new scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, nurses that Mr. Manzano mentioned. It is the existence (or potentiality) of new industries and job-creating ventures/businesses that would encourage young people to become what Mr. Manzano mentioned. Also, it is the existence of economic freedom that would encourage people to invest and do business.

      I repeat, the only way to establish an economic incentive that would encourage young people to be engineers, architects, PhDs, etc. is to foster economic freedom and respect individual rights in this country.

      I don’t have to be an economist or a PhD to understand this.

      • crude permalink
        April 27, 2010 3:38

        Ayos parang ikaw alam mo sinasabi mo..malamang si Edu Manzano iboboto mo no? uuuyyyy!!!!

      • April 27, 2010 3:38

        Para kay Crude-minded… Bopols ka kasi that why di mo naintindihan ang blog na to. Ba’t kaya ang daming bopols at walang laman ng utak sa pinas?

      • crude permalink
        April 30, 2010 3:38

        Kasama ka dun Ernie M. Wahahaha!

  6. maynardjameskeenan permalink
    February 20, 2010 3:38

    I believe that improving our Philippine education system should involve on making it adherent to the overall economic and social developmental needs and not focus in leading graduates (or undergraduates) to jobs that will address financial security alone. I believe that an education reform that is anchored on research in solving our country’s developmental problems is needed. And I believe that the government should make opportunities for both high-paying jobs (such as CCs) and for advanced learning degree programs available. But it should focus more on harnessing economic freedom to make both opportunities available and attainable for everybody.

    • February 20, 2010 3:38

      @ maynardjameskeenan

      You said: “I believe that improving our Philippine education system should involve on making it adherent to the overall economic and social developmental needs and not focus in leading graduates (or undergraduates) to jobs that will address financial security alone.”

      Ask yourself what improved our education system. It is the private schools and universities that served as impetus for the development of the country’s education. There is no tinge of doubt that private education is better than government rationed education. Now you might say most people can’t afford tuition fees. If the government did not issue excessive regulations and controls, there would have been free and open competition among private schools, a situation that would lower the cost of school fees. Profits give private education the incentive to develop and improve their means of instruction, facilities, methods, research, etc.

      You said: “I believe that an education reform that is anchored on research in solving our country’s developmental problems is needed. “

      It is true that good education must be anchored on research, but the government cannot do this alone unless it spends too much taxpayers’ money. Most reliable and commercially viable research and studies were produced by private schools. In the USA, most life-improving research and studies were produced by private universities, and the same is true in most developed countries like Japan, Australia, Great Britain, etc.
      The best thing the government can do to improve our education system is let the private educators do their job and refrain from issuing regulatory policies and reforms.

      You said: “And I believe that the government should make opportunities for both high-paying jobs (such as CCs) and for advanced learning degree programs available.”

      Like I said above: “The government cannot produce scientists without any economic incentive that would encourage/inspire young people to take technical, highly specializes courses. When I say economic incentive, I mean existing industries and job-creating ventures waiting for the country’s new graduates.”

      “I expect this country to decontrol and let the creators of wealth and jobs do their business. I also expect this government and the politicians to thank the creators of wealth and jobs and not disparage them! If the government decontrols and respects free market principles, we wouldn’t only attract foreign capitalists who produce call center jobs, but capitalists who also specialize in other industries. This is the only way for this government to create jobs other than call center jobs. Consider the case of Intel that shut down its business due to government regulations and unfriendly corporate tax rate in this country. ”

      How will the government “make opportunities for both high-paying jobs (such as CCs) and for advanced learning degree programs available”? By spending too much staxpayers’ money? Or by coercing/pressuring private businesses/companies thru the use of laws and edicts to increase the salary of private workers beyond their capacity and means? If this is what you’re trying to imply then I ask you to know the reason why multinational companies like INTEL left the country…

  7. plsburydoughboy permalink
    February 28, 2010 3:38

    As someone who’s worked at call centers for the past ten years, and seen different people in the industry both benefit from and be harmed by it, I’m inclined to agree with Edu.

    Now to clarify, I’m not going to deny that there’s some good gained from the industry. Many of my superiors entered the industry from other fields when they were in the 30s and 40s, and quickly rose up to higher positions thanks to their performance. As you say, many of them also seek to fund education for themselves or their relatives by working in the same industry. Another benefit you hadn’t mentioned is how the industry benefited restaurants and convenience stores, enhancing the value of the local food industry. Many fastfoods went 24/7 for this reason. Edu is somewhat hyperbolic in talking about the industry’s ills.

    But Edu is right in his basic distrust of the industry. Beneath the silver lining of ‘economic recovery’, employees are overworked, whether they are underpaid or not. Call center companies demand so much time and effort from their employees that it leaves them chronically ill, gives them sleep apnea and leaves little time to connect with family or give them their own personal time. The industry has been taking highly skilled workers and managers away from other industries that do need developing. The industry also imposes very high penalties on the employees who leave it, many of whom wait years before getting their clearances and final pays processed.

    Please bear in mind these aren’t opinions or stories I invented. These are the experiences that I and many of my coworkers have experienced. I decided to leave the industry myself, after realizing I was not making enough money to pay for the different illnesses I would be contracting from them. But, I do consider myself lucky as I didn’t die or go brain dead from the work stress, which happened to my fellow coworkers. I also have yet to get my clearance processed, although it has been over a years since I was fired.

    I don’t have the time, or admittedly, the knowledge to discuss all that’s wrong with call centers. But I do feel you yourself may be lacking in information regarding our so’called ‘sunshine industry’, as the current administration, which has clearly indicated support for the industry by hosting call center job fairs, would have you believe. At least let me post a few links indicating some of the major issues. For your consideration:

    http://www.bikoy.net/archives/2009/08/18/the-call-of-call-center-agents/

    http://bulatlat.com/news/6-9/6-9-call.htm

    http://www.bulatlat.com/news/5-8/5-8-callcenters.html

    http://www.bulatlat.com/news/6-9/6-9-call.htm

    http://pcij.org/stories/faster-growth-under-arroyo-reality-or-statistical-illusion/

  8. March 11, 2010 3:38

    Contact bridge offers a range of services including Cost effective call center, Outsource call center, Call center outsourcing, Offshore call center, Telemarketing, Lead generation, Day Tours, Lead generation Canada, Tell Marketing in Vancouver, Inbound customer services, Outsourcing in USA, Offshore call center, Timeshare leads, B2B Lead generation.

  9. Carlo permalink
    March 19, 2010 3:38

    I find it funny. Mr. Manzano’s sister works for a bank in US and currently manages a contact center here in the country. Isn’t it too ironic.

  10. June 3, 2010 3:38

    EARN GLOBAL MONEY shows you different earning programs from all over the globe and help people to earn money from different earning program owned by different organizations. click here

  11. bpo_fan permalink
    August 27, 2010 3:38

    Pwede ba, sa mga taong hindi naman nakapagtrabaho sa call center/BPO huwag nalang kayo mag-comment? Kasi wala sense mga pinagsasasabi niyo eh. Wala kayong alam kung gaano karaming tao ang natutulungan ng indusry na ito, at marami na ding nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral dahil dito.

    To Edu Manzano, if you think that the call center industry is pulling young people away from professional disciplines, eh anong tawag mo sa Show business??? Ang dami nang naglipananang mga talent search diyan for TEENS! Most of the contestants hindi pa natatapos kahit high school. Iga-grant nga ng scholarship, pero wala naman time for studies dahil sa trabaho…

    Kahit manalo ka pang VP hindi mo mapipigilan ang pagdami ng call centers/BPO dito sa Pilipinas, epekto ito ng recession sa US… Kung gusto mo talaga mawala ang call center industry, doon ka sa US tumakbo, at dun mo din ipagduldulan yan mga pinagsasasabi mo. Anyway, hindi lang naman US ang naga-outsource ng call center jobs dito. Good luck nalang sa’yo, Mr. Manzano…

  12. September 5, 2011 3:38

    As long as the 1987 Philippines Constitution doesn’t revise the foreign ownership it will increase thrice the unemployment in the Philippines.

    it should revise first to own their investment by 100% and also to increase more BPO and Call Center Industry.

  13. January 23, 2015 3:38

    Call center had help me and my family a lot. Let’s admit it eto ang ang trabahong kahit sino pwde mgapply. Kahit disabled, mei tattoo or mei edad kana basta you are able to pass the exams and interview. Pero minsan pag ngtagal ka na you will think na hindi nga ito pang mtgalan, MInsan abusado pa mga clients. Kung ano ano na demands hindi na iniicp ang kapakanan ng mga ahente.That’s where I believe capitalism is. Minsan naicp ko slavery.Minsan naiisip mo na din if you’re being paid enough sa mga gngwa mo. FYI, ang call center eh hindi lang paulit ult ng cnsbe at gngwa…Wla kasi maibigay ang bansang to ng mgagandang opportunities sa mga tao.

Trackbacks

  1. Why They Missed It? « THE VINCENTON POST
  2. Questions on Education, Privatization, Call Center Industry, and the Economy « THE VINCENTON POST
  3. Noynoy Aquino and His Tax Cut Plan « THE VINCENTON POST
  4. Questions on Education, Privatization, Call Center Industry, and the Economy | VINCENTON
  5. Noynoy Aquino and His Tax Cut Plan | VINCENTON BLOG
  6. PH Senatorial Candidates 2016, Their Achievements and Red Flags | Trending News Philippines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: