After working with staff from Manila in the Philippines for many years, I finally visited and saw first hand what many have told me. It confirmed why we offer this off-site staffing service.
People want jobs; they want to work
In some countries, the state of the economy may be because of the work ethic of the people of the country. The opposite is the case in Manila. I interviewed many people on this trip, over the phone and in person and the common theme is a strong desire to work. Many people donate to charity that assist those in third world countries. I believe that one of the best ways to assist is through employment. It is employment that helps give a sense of purpose and achievement. Working to accomplish goals provides a balance to life so that the individuals can be . Filippinos want to work and achieve.
Local knowledge is mandatory
I have travelled to many countries and regions around the world. The closest I have come to a third world country is China. Manila is different from all of them. About a month before I left for the trip I started telling friends, family and staff what I was doing. The reaction from the people that had been to Manila was one of concern. I sensed it even when some did not come out and say it. I asked lots of questions. Before embarking to Manila, I met with an Australian who had been living in Manila for the past three years. The warnings were clear in many areas. I had to change my mindset and be less relaxed about the whole trip.
I relied more heavily on the advice of my local staff from Manila. I took safety precautions more than anywhere else in the world. And from a business perspective, I spoke with many locals to get their advice on the best method of expansion in Manila.
Dangerous for the unwary.
The country has extreme poverty and slums are littered throughout the metro Manila area. I saw people in many shanty-type accommodation. Most buildings had a security guard. All banks had guards with shotguns. My hotel had a sniffer dog and all entrants were frisked with a metal detector. I visited a mall and at the entrance there were security guards with metal detectors. It also looked like they were checking bags for explosives. All of these things are shocking to someone from Australia.