Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Re-Evaluating Go to USA H1B Job Offers

I got a chance to catch up with a friend lately, let us refer to him as Cary who shared a story on the downsides to signing up for H1B "go to the US" offers.


One of his ex-staff was poached by a firm in New Jersey last November and was begging to come back to work for them in Manila last January. Basically, here's what happened to his staff:
  1. He was promised an $80k salary but on arrival found that this would only be paid if he was placed in a client.
  2. Otherwise, on the bench, he had to survive on $20 a day.
  3. Sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with 5 other Indians - in a dangerous, ghetto neighborhood.
In the end, he had to pay for his own flight back to Manila.

Cary is based in the U.S. now and believes that the average Filipino IT worker doesn't understand the deteriorating reality of surviving in the US on even $80k a year. Perhaps it would be useful for them to know major expenses such as healthcare.
  • Healthcare costs – a family of 4 with employer-provided health insurance can factor an annual spend of around $6,000 - $10,000 a year on basic healthcare needs due to (i) employee premium contributions (ii) co-pays and deductibles (iii) out-of-plan coverage and pre-existing conditions and (iv) insanely inflated medication costs.

  • WITHOUT health insurance (cost = $7k per year) – you are literally gambling with your life and/or your kid’s lives.

  • Education costs - Most middle class families send their kids to private education from 4yrs up at $10k a year – otherwise it's the public schools that has its own set of risks and challenges.
Countries that have transformed, from poor to rich, were partly assisted by growing a strong local IT industry. Can the same happen in the Philippines? Maybe yes if we can contain the overseas attrition issues.

If an IT professional can make 90k + in Manila, they’d be mad to go to the US. But who can pay that much?


Perhaps in our desire to have better lives, the immediate option is to get out of the country with the least difficult route as possible. As a result, some Filipinos have taken on job offers without going through the normal due process.

Time and again, we've seen that majority of those who encountered problems are the ones who didn't go through proper process.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winners: E-Services Awards 2008

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investment (BOI), and Center for International Trade, Exhibitions, and Missions (CITEM) concluded its successful E-Services Philippines 2008 yesterday.

The event has served as a venue to promote the Philippines as a tier-one offshoring and outsourcing center. It generates opportunities for Philippines offshoring and outsourcing suppliers. Furthermore, generate investments and jobs.

The last event yesterday was the E-Services Awards whose intent is to communicate the world-class achievements of Philippine firms internationally, celebrate success, and creation champions to inspire others.

The winners for E-Services Awards 2008 are:

Animation and Game Development Sector

Category: Outstanding Client Application of the Year
Winner: Sun Life VUL e-Learning Program" by Media Farm, Inc.

Category: Outstanding Consumer Application of the Year
Winner: Tekkids Courseware by Tech Factors Incorporated

Back Office BPO Sector

Category: Most Progressive Homegrown Company of the Year
Winner: Transprocure Corporation

Contact Center Sector

Category: Most Progressive Homegrown Company of the Year
Winner: People Support (Phils) Corporation

Software Development and Maintenance Sector

Category: Outstanding Client Application of the Year
Winner: "ATM System Development for a major bank in Japan" by Advance World Systems

Category: Outstanding Consumer Application of the Year
Winner: "Ur HR Partner" by Navigation Systems, Inc.

Category: Most Progressive Homegrown Company of the Year
Winner: Pointwest Technologies Corporation

Category: Technology of the Year
Winner: "NEXT I.X. INF" by Next IX, Inc.

Transcription Sector

Category: Outstanding Consumer Application of the Year
Winner: "Online On-The-Job Simulation" by Total Transcription Solutions, Inc.

Category: Technology of the Year
Winner: "Electronic Medical Record" by EMR Global Corporation

e-Champion Awards 2008
This award recognizes personalities or organizations whose ideas, talent, and commitment have contributed significantly to Philippine ICT development and/or whose passion and dedication have helped raise the bar of excellence in the Philippines' e-Services industry.

An exclusive DTI special recognition, this award also aims to promote and propagate good practices and outstanding contributions and inspire others to replicate achievements of the awardees. Last year's awardees includes Senators Mar Roxas, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., former BPAP chair Bong Borja, and Mosaic Communications President Dr. William Torres.

A. Country Promotion Category
Winner: Ernest Cu, Vice President, SPi

B. Policy and Legal Category
Winner: Janette Toral (photos)

C. Business Development Category
Winner: Benedict Hernandez, Senior Vice President, e-Telecare Global Solutions

D. Software Development Category
Winner: Fermin Taruc, Managing Director, Gurango Software