A HOUSE leader on Thursday pushed for the continuation of the work from home (WFH) arrangement for employees of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in special economic zones.
Although BPOs in special economic zones are covered by Republic Act (RA) 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 which requires all registered companies to operate within the “ecozones” in order to enjoy tax incentives, House Assistant Majority Leader and ACT-CIS Rep. Niña Taduran said she believes that the Department of Finance (DOF), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and Fiscal Incentives Review Board should reconsider their decision to require BPO workers to physically report for work starting April 1.
Taduran also said that as long as the head office of a BPO firm remains within a PEZA-administered building or facility, incentives must still be available.
“Furthermore, we have a Telecommuting law, which is effective for the entire country, and that includes the special economic zones,” Taduran said.
RA 11165 also known as the “Telecommuting Act” refers to a “work arrangement that allows an employee in the private sector to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.”
“In addition, with the skyrocketing prices of petroleum products, which translate to increases in fare, basic commodities, etcetera, it is actually more practical to maintain the work from home scheme,” said Taduran.
“We have to understand that everything is not yet back to normal. Thus, the government must not insist on the pre-pandemic terms. If BPOs are forced to do this, we run the risk of losing these investors to our neighboring countries,” Taduran added.