The Philippine Gold Rush





At the turn of the century, this country experienced a great deal of US companies outsourcing their business processes. This cost cutting measure drove a gold rush into this country ushering in changes and numerous developments. The call center industry managed to make people acclimatized to graveyard lifestyles, keep the peso afloat, but most significantly it increased the purchasing power of Filipinos involved in the call center industry.

The idea of credit cards, postpaid phone plans, laptops, endless parties, and out-of-town vacations is usually connected to big income families, rich kids, and high wealth professionals. The call center industry changed all of this. It made its employees feel financially bloated, endlessly splurging, and not sparing anything for a rainy day. Because of the high salary being given to call center employees, the gold rush days saw an influx of credit card, post paid phone line, and internet subscription applications, and an increase in laptop, cellphone, mp3 player, digital camera, and video game console purchase. The feeling of limitless money, however, is not good. It can make a person spend endlessly until he/she runs out of money and fails to stand back up. The result of all this was an inevitable increase of non-paying subscribers, unpaid credit card loans, and people facing lawsuits.

What made this group of people act so recklessly regarding spending is not just their greed but also their lack of financial education. Most call center employees (just like the OFWs) opted to spend, spend, and spend without thinking of what happens after the money runs out. Instead of putting money in worthwhile investments, this group of people splurged their money on things bound to depreciate.

While this industry undoubtedly helped the economy with its dollars, job creation, and the sprouting of other services which flourished alongside this industry (like 24/7 convenience stores, computer and computer parts manufacturers and vendors, bars, and resorts, it would have helped the economy more if financial education was given to this group of people. not that spending does not help the economy, but it would have been better if a percentage of the income of this people would have gone to mutual funds, the stock market, banks, and new SMEs.

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