Villanueva: NEDA’s call for 4-day work week supports WFH for IT-BPO workers

Villanueva: NEDA’s call for 4-day work week supports WFH for IT-BPO workers

The National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) proposal for a four-day work week to address high gas prices supports the IT-BPO workers’ call that they be allowed to continue working from home, Sen. Joel Villanueva said today.

“Our government should be the first to heed NEDA’s call and apply it to the IT-BPO sector,” Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said.

There should be policy cohesion. We cannot encourage industries to explore alternative working arrangements and at the same time order one industry to end remote work,” he added.

Saying that “commuting today is essentially a pay cut,” the senator earlier asked the government to withdraw its ultimatum to IT-BPOs to end remote work of their employees under the pain of losing tax incentives.

Aside from losing part of their wages “to the gas pump or to the fare box,” the return-to-work order “would mean that the budget for the family food would now be eaten up by commuting costs,” Villanueva explained.

Work from home is still one of the “best energy crisis mitigation measures,” he further noted.

“The most fiscally responsible ayuda is the one in which the industry and workers determine their mitigation measures such as that proposed by the IT-BPO workers,” the senator said.

In a letter dated March 17 2022, Villanueva appealed to the Department of Finance to reconsider the Fiscal Incentive Review Board’s (FIRB) decision that only allows IT-BPO enterprises to implement a work-from-home arrangement up to the end of the month.

Aside from cushioning the impact of increasing oil prices, the senator cited the benefits of WFH in dealing with the ongoing pandemic, as well as its effect in increasing productivity and promoting work-life balance for workers.

The principal author and sponsor of the Telecommuting or Work From Home law said that he “believes that governmental policies should continue to encourage the adoption of alternative work arrangements for the health and welfare of our workers, as well as their employers.”

“While we understand the need to revive our small and medium enterprises (SMEs), options other than requiring workers to return to in-person work should be explored,” Villanueva said in the letter.

As the principal sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1834or the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act, the senator also cited these other options to include capacitating SMEs to shift to more digital platforms and equipping the workers in these sectors with the appropriate digital skills.

Villanueva earlier called on the government to work with industries for the full implementation of the Work From Home Law to help businesses and workers cope with rising fuel prices.


Villanueva: WFH ng IT-BPO workers, suportado ng panawagang 4-day work week ng NEDA

Suportado ng mungkahing four-day work week ng National Economic Development Authority ang panawagan ng mga IT-BPO worker na payagan silang magpatuloy sa kanilang work from home (WFH) arrangement, sabi ni Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva.

Iminungkahi ng NEDA ang four-day work week para pagaanin ang gastos ng mga manggagawa dulot ng mataas na presyo ng gasolina.

“Dapat manguna ang gobyerno sa pagtugon sa abiso ng NEDA at ipatupad ito para sa IT-BPO sector,” sabi ni Villanueva, chair ng Senate labor committee.

“Dapat meron tayong policy cohesion. Hindi dapat natin i-encourage ang alternative working arrangements sa ibang industriya habang babawalan naman natin ang WFH ng isang industriya,” dagdag niya.

Nanawagan si Villanueva na iatras ng gobyerno ang ultimatum nito sa mga It-BPO na itigil ang remote work dahil sa bantang mawawalan sila ng tax incentives, na para na ring kaltas sa kita ang pag-commute.

Maliban sa “kaltas” na ito na napupunta sa gasolinahan o sa pamasahe, ang return-to-work order ay nangangahulugang kinakain ng gastos sa commute ang budget sana sa pagkain ng pamilya, paliwanag ng senador.

“One of the best energy crisis mitigation measures pa rin ang work from home”, sabi ni Villanueva.

“The most fiscally responsible ayuda is the one in which the industry and workers determine their mitigation measures such as that proposed by the IT-BPO workers,” sabi niya.

Sa isang sulat noong Marso 17, 2022, umapela si Villanueva sa Department of Finance na i-reconsider ang desisyon ng Fiscal Incentive Review Board (FIRB) na maari lamang magpatuloy ang 90% IT-BPO workers sa kanilang WFH hanggang sa katapusan ng buwan.

Maliban sa pagtugon sa epekto ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, binanggit din ng senador ang mga benepisyo ng WFH, gaya ng patuloy na pagtatrabaho sa kabila ng pandemya, gayundin ang epekto nito sa pagtaas ng productivity at pagkakaroon ng work-life balance ng mga manggagawa.

Sinabi rin ng principal author and sponsor of the Telecommuting or Work From Home Law na naniniwala siya na ang polisiya ng gobyerno ay dapat maghikayat ng adoption ng alternative work arrangements para sa kalusugan at kapakanan ng mga manggagawa at negosyo.

“Bagaman naiintindihan natin na kailangang muling pasiglahin ang ating mga small and medium enterprises (SMEs), may iba pang option na pwede nating pag-isipan maliban sa piliting bumalik ang mga manggagawa sa in-person work,” sabi ni Villanueva sa sulat.

Bilang principal sponsor ng Senate Bill No. 1834 o ang Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act, sinabi ng senador na kasama sa mga option na ito ang pagbibigay ng kapasidad sa mga SME na magkaroon ng digital platforms, at bigyan ng kakayanan at digital skills ang mga manggagawa sa sektor na ito.

Nauna nang nanawagan si Villanueva sa gobyerno na makipag-ugnayan sa mga industriya para sa full implementation ng Work From Home Law para makatulong sa mga negosyo at manggagawa mula sa tumataas na presyo ng gasolina.

»Villanueva: NEDA’s call for 4-day work week supports WFH for IT-BPO workers«

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