Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Drifting through stories...

Drifting through different topics looking for stories... that could make news reports I produce for my clients overseas as foreign correspondent I often find truthful tales stranger than fiction...

First the good news...
For many months now the steady increase in BPO or business process outsourcing jobs and opportunities and jobs in the Philippines has been rising...
"THE number of job opportunities coming from the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines is expected to reach 336,000 at the end of this year, higher by 44 percent than last year's 171,000. "
Over all the outsourcing job boom has become a major factor why attempts to destabilize the country has failed. Steady job increases from one sector has a trickle down effect for the informal sector of the economy - in simple terms one new formal employment job opportunity means up to 2.4 others are created - the new employees buy more products and pump up consumer spending.
Now the Bad news-
Proficiency in the English language is at a twelve year low - the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported in it's March 2006 survey.
" Survey results showed there was a decline in all aspects of English proficiency, most notably in the ability to speak English, as compared to results of similar surveys conducted in December 1993 and September 2000. The latest survey showed that only 65 percent of Filipino adults said they understand spoken English as compared to 74 percent in December 1993 and 77 percent in September 2000. "

Misguided Nationalism is the primary reason - too many misplaced ideals in name of curing a so called colonial mentality.
The problem is insecurity; compounded by misguided principals of a formal education system that bred this into a student teachers in the 1980's part of their fight for social change.
Another concern also the export of competent teachers - in hindsight - Children in other Asian countries like Thailand, Korea, Japan, and China- children stay up late some even hiring tutors online to learn the language of news, science, and, business across the world. No one can question the their nationalism- yet they know- English is still a important part of communication across the globe.

Less stressful but still a strange story is....

The report for example in the Manila Times online edition for example today - it was simple police story about a man getting caught with Fake credit card- but it said so much.
" On Monday about 4:45 p.m. while using a fake Citibank Visa card with the name of the accused to buy P6,652.22 worth of groceries at the Shopwise Supermarket at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. " The Report went on to say and talk about the accused "had made past purchases totaling P800,000 using the same credit card at the same store, prompting its management to be on the lookout for ..."
At first I thought wow what a great "stupid crimnial" story for a show I sometimes put stories together for- then I realized what kind of store allowed nearly a 800,000 pesos in purchases before trying to nab the person with the fake card. - YIKES!!!

Another Story came out in the Sun Star newspaper about threats from the ASG or Abu sayyaf group versus a local broadcaster in Zamboanga city - who had been starting his morning show with a Ala-robin Williams style good morning Vietnam greeting to the band of extremists -
The didn't like the good morning greeting coming over the Airwave - "Alvarez's daily public affairs program "Good Morning Zamboanga" often starts with the journalist greeting criminals, drug syndicates, thieves and corrupt government officials, including the Abu Sayyaf, but the terror group resented this. "I am not discounting this threat to my life," said Alvarez, who is also the radio station's news chief." Talk about bad feedback from the audience... Threats however are often just a way to intimidate people - rarely do they mean anything more except this group is known to be extremely violent - So perhaps a change in greeting may be in order.

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