MANILA, October 29, 2005
 (STAR) By Aurea Calica - California-based Five9, a global leader in hosted call center solutions, is planning to expand its operations in the Philippines and generate more than 90,000 jobs for Filipinos over the next 12 months, Malacañang said yesterday.

During a recent courtesy call, Five9 president and chief executive officer Brian Silverman informed President Arroyo about the company’s plans for expansion.

Silverman said Five9 shared the President’s visions and plans and will assist the country "in becoming the global capital in customer care."

"Five9, an integral part of the government’s job creation program, plans to create over 90,000 new jobs for Filipinos by setting up hundreds of new small- and mid-sized call centers throughout the country over the next 12 months," he said.

Five9 Philippines country manager Junie Pama said their company is pioneering the establishment of small- and medium-sized call centers that could start with only one computer with Internet access.

He also said they were taking advantage of the new trend of establishing call centers with only 40 to 50 employees. This is projected to become a $5-billion industry by 2008.

Pama said they were also helping market the Philippines to become the global capital in customer care, citing its greater potential compared to other countries, because Filipinos are articulate and conversant in English.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Arroyo called once again for an end to the political bickering and protest rallies as she urged Filipinos "to get back to work" to help the economy finally take off.

"Filipinos are completely exhausted with poisoned politics, when so much remains to be done... We must, with the backing of our allies and friends, get back to work not in the streets but in our offices and industrial centers, in our farms and our communities," she said during an iftar for peace and forgiveness hosted by the Libyan embassy in Manila.

She cited not only the improved outlook for the country by rating agencies, but also the peso’s strong showing, the robust stock market, continuing flow of investments, and the respectable profit margin enjoyed by businesses in the country as evidence that "confirms the solid prospect of economic takeoff."

Iftar refers to the evening meal for breaking the daily fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Muslims often gather for iftar to break the fast together.

The President also reiterated her call for national unity and reconciliation, which she said should start by having everyone focused on God.

She earlier called for the establishment of a government of national unity, where she would appoint members of the opposition to the Cabinet to help lead the nation.

Joining Mrs. Arroyo for the iftar were National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, who appeared in public for the first time since his release from Senate custody; Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita; House Speaker Jose de Venecia; host Libyan ambassador Salem Adam; former First Lady Imelda Marcos; Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and other officials.

The President cited the Muslim communities’ help in fighting terrorism and promoting peace through inter-faith dialogue.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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