Senator urges incoming economic managers to resolve WFH impasse

June 11, 2022 People's Journal 104 views

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros is calling on the country’s incoming economic managers to remove the uncertainty and finally resolve the work-from-home (WFH) impasse in the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector.

“Ideally, bago pa mailuklok ang bagong economic team ng bansa, they should already find common ground with the IT-BPM sector and remove the anxiety of their investors and international clients. Let’s not forget that the IT-BPM sector has been the only consistent generator of jobs in the past two and a half years of the pandemic. If we take care of the workers, the sector is set to continue attracting talent and growing. Working remotely also lessens the cost and cuts down on the stress of commuting, especially in Metro Manila,” Hontiveros said.

To date, there;s no final decision yet on whether to allow business process outsourcing (BPO) and registered business enterprises (RBEs) to continue their WFH setup indefinitely.

The initial “return to on-site work” announcement issued in March caused an uproar among BPO employees.

The workers argued that they end up spending more when they are required to show up on-site.

“Sang-ayon ako sa gusto ng mga BPO workers. I think those are very reasonable demands. They’re already borne out by existing realities in the world of work. The workers have been productive in their WFH setup. They really optimized yung pagiging online ng malaking bahagi ng trabaho nila. Malaking tulong sa budget nila sa pang-araw-araw kung ipagpapatuloy itong work-from-home setup,” the senator stressed.

The government is currently allowing a hybrid 30% WFH setup until September 12, 2022, the so-called “end of the state of the COVID-19 calamity” declared by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Nawa’y pakinggan ng ating economic team ang mga manggagawa. Our workers have said their piece. The ball is now in the next administration’s court. It’s high time we start working under a ‘better normal,’ and not just a ‘new normal.’ Huwag sana tayong paatras sa mga dating klase ng mga labor laws or even tax laws na pipilitin talagang bumalik sa pre-pandemic working conditions.

Maging flexible naman tayo,” Hontiveros said. By Camille P. Balagtas