Tourists in some Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, when they might drop in for a snack in any branch of McDonald’s in the region, might notice something about the attending staff. In Singapore especially, some of the employees manning the counters or making the rounds cleaning up used tables are middle-aged and elderly persons, who perform their work with sometimes surprisingly dignified efficiency. The reason for this trend in staffing for fast-food restaurants in Singapore is due to the youth preferring office-employment over counter duty. In the Philippines however, such a thing is rather unheard of. But Jollibee Foods looks to be changing that soon.
ABS-CBN News reports that Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), the Philippines’ premier fast-food chain, is looking to employ the elderly and persons with disabilities to staff at four of its restaurant brands in the City of Manila. This is a first in the company’s over 40-year history, and it was cemented this Friday, August 23, at the Manila City Hall with JFC President Justo Alano signing an agreement with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. Fernan Bermejo, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Employment Service Office (PESO) for Manila, notes that the hired elderly and PWD’s will take up “light tasks” such as ushering customers and following up on orders.
Bermejo elaborates that JFC is looking at hiring about 78 elderly and 39 mute and deaf PWDs as a start for this program. These prospective employees must be Manileño residents because they will be assigned to 39 branches of restaurants under Jollibee Foods, namely Greenwich Pizza, Mang Inasal, Chowking and Jollibee itself. The employment memorandum of agreement jointly signed by Alano and Mayor Moreno mandates only 4 hours of work daily for these special employees, for which they will earn a monthly salary of P5,000. Their shifts will only occupy daytime office hours, ranging between 8 AM to 5 PM.
Hired elderly and PWDs will not be simply assigned a “light duty” at random on their Jollibee fast-food chain assignments according to JFC country business group boss Joseph Tabuntiong. He says the tasks they will be given “must be something that they enjoy doing and also something that contributes to our store operations.” PESO Manila chief Fernan Bermejo adds that senior citizen applications will be sorted so that those who might be hired have addresses that are walking-distance away from their assigned restaurants, to minimize commuting stress. Deaf and mute PWDS on the other hand will work as full-time employees, with one going to each of the 39 participating branches in the city of Manila.
This special employment memorandum was the brainchild of a suggestion by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to Jollibee as a means of providing reasonable work for the elderly and PWDs to help them contribute to society.
Image courtesy of Manila Bulletin