Wednesday, October 15, 2008

LICKING POVERTY THE TACTICAL WAY

THE CUT-THROAT TACTICS practiced by among the myriad competing private security agencies here in the Philippines have affected much the security agency industry today. Majority of these security agencies dived their offers way way below the standard rate just to secure and get hold of a contract without thinking of their main workforce and frontliners: the oft-exploited individual security guard.
Although PADPAO, an umbrella organization of private security agencies, tried their best to implement a standard and uniform rate policy, but, sadly, on some rare occasions, their members and officers were allegedly the first to break their imposed rules and, as a result, others would just follow. To each his own then becomes the unwritten rule of the day!
These unscrupulous security agencies are becoming a nuisance among members of good standing; the Security Agency and Guard Supervision Division of the Philippine National Police (SAGSD-PNP) have made only a minuscule dent among their numbers and just content themselves making just a slight tap on the wrist upon any erring member. There are no discernible safety nets enforced and what rigid rules implemented would just melt away when money talks and passes below a table. It's a reality here if you talk of how much things would move around here.
Today, the minimum daily wage mandated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Cebu Province, to include the Metro Cebu Area, is Php267 (about €4.09 at Php65.14 to €1), which is adopted by PADPAO to be implemented to all security agencies in paying the salaries of their security guards. With that salary, a government think-tank suggested, a family of six in Central Philippines would be able to overcome hunger. We just hope so.

Despite that, many fly-by-night security agencies took advantage of the prevailing poverty situation and the dearth of available jobs in the market to make a killing to the consternation of legitimate agencies. But sometimes, it is through the instances of some commercial establishments who would goad these mercenary agencies to settle on very low contract rates as they embarked on cost-cutting measures to stay afloat.
At barrel-bottom rates, security agencies are forced to give a monthly salary to their security guards at Php4,000 to Php5,500 (around €61-€84), else, they will hire an unlicensed one to do their bidding. At that stage, performance and services are being sacrificed, resulting to unsatisfactory customer satisfaction. With that rate, the assigned guard will no longer avail of the Social Security System (SSS) and PhilHealth benefits due to them as the agency will be constrained not to remit their share to the state fund to make a slim profit out of it.
The moment the security guard will be sidelined due to illness, by accident or under litigation, he will have to fend for himself and his family, as the agency will surely abandon all financial assistance and support due to him which he justly deserve by law. What money earned to support his family will be sacrificed and he has no other recourse except to tap money lenders which, ultimately, push him hard to the ground of extreme poverty and starvation.
Cases like these are common among the steady crop of security guards applying for a slot with Tactical Security and Detective Agency, Inc. They have to bail out from their previous agencies who, they deduced, are not minding their welfare and benefit but engage in other trivial matters like politicking and backstabbing other agencies. Tactical Security, in the past, have never been influenced by the actions of these unscrupulous security agencies yet they took on a form as if we were one of their numbers after years of operation until new management bought out the whole stock, lock and barrel from the previous owners.
On January 16, 2008, we at Tactical Security decided to overhaul the whole system by studying and planning the course of the agency into what it was during its better days. One of those that we scrutinized well and focused on was the large percentage of guards receiving salaries well below the minimum set by DOLE at that time, which is pegged at Php250 (€3.90). During our takeover, there were a total of 189 security guards and barely 30% of these receive the standard wage.
Tasking Mr. Omar Pace and Ms. Malou Cagang, respectively, the operations and administrative officers retained by the new management, to re-negotiate the existing contracts and deliver to the guards what they justly deserve – a living wage to feed a family of five, to include a very regular SSS, PhilHealth and state insurance contributions; we were able to turn around the agency from a “for-profit-only” entity into a corporate with a social conscience.
Aside from that, we were able to reverse the existing guard strength (now around 300) that receive the minimum wage to around 83% up from the previous 30%. But, most of all, our cash flow has shown significant liquidity as we were able to equip our agency with more assets and equipment as more and more good-paying clients noticed our agency's effort to professionalize our corps of security officers and guards and contracted us to secure their properties and personnel.

We also were able to give refuge to many dissatisfied security guards coming from other agencies by absorbing them to our family and providing them better income by posting them to choice clients which we were able to capture through our aggressive marketing strategy. Providing them good services and attending to their needs like up-to-date release of salary through ATM and cash advances without interests, we were able to gain back the security guard's esteem and, conversely, our standing before the community were raised to a higher level.

At the end of the day, Tactical Security have done its share in providing adequate attention to the ordinary security guard, without whom, we would have not existed. These security guards, who toiled exposed to the elements and never took a glance to an inviting chair for a moment's rest just to protect his agency's contract, without which, he would have no business being there. By and by, it is a symbiotic existence. Each could not stand without the other. For that, we treat our personnel well. They are our jewels. They showcase our agency to the public.
Document done in OpenOffice 2.1. Writer, Trebuchet MS font, size 12.

7 comments:

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Adam said...

CRITICS of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were quick to give the tragedy at the Philsports Arena (or Ultra) last weekend a political angle, trying to blame the government’s failure to confront squarely the worsening poverty among millions of Filipinos.
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Lance said...

i really like this topic about the poverty on security guards.. considering the very risky scenarios they are always in... tsk tsk tsk

Ken Calvert said...
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