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PEZA appeals extension of hybrid work-from-home scheme

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito Plaza appeals on Monday to extend the hybrid work-from-home (WFH) arrangement made available to Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) firms during the pandemic.

Last week, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced the decision via Resolution 19-21 of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to allow WFH for up to 90% of the IT-BPO workforce until March 31, 2022, while retaining the incentives available for companies in economic zones.

“We need to consider that we are not only dealing with the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic but also the domino effect of the ongoing war in Ukraine and Russia on the global market. The least we can do is help bring back our thriving economy, but not at the expense of our investors who help keep protect our economy afloat,” the PEZA director-general said.

PEZA, nonetheless, encouraged IT-BPO firms to comply with the FIRB policy in the meantime to avoid penalties.

“While PEZA as a regulatory agency has to abide by the FIRB’s decision, our locators should already start planning the transition period for their return to the office, with workers starting to report on-site as decided by the FIRB,” Plaza added.

PEZA is reportedly coordinating with the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) to campaign for FIRB’s consideration of a hybrid work scheme, with three schedules proposed to adopt the ratio of a 60 percent WFH: 40 percent on-site; 40 percent WFH: 60 percent on-site; or 50 percent WFH: 50 percent on-site; in staggered implementations. The IBPAP earlier proposed to extend the hybrid WFH until December of this year.

According to IBPAP data, the IT-BPO workforce grew by 8 percent in 2021, which means adding some 100,000 new jobs. Revenues, meanwhile, went up by around 12 percent to a total of USD 28.8 billion. For the duration of 2021, more or less 60 percent of their employees have worked from home.

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Avatar for Arius Lauren Raposas

A public servant with a heart for actively supporting technology and futures thinking, responding accordingly to humanity's needs and goals, increasing participation of people in issues concerning them, upholding rights and freedoms, and striving further to achieve more despite our limited capacities. In everything, to God be all the glory.

1 Response

  1. Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    DOF thinking that forcing BPO workers to work on-site will stimulate local business shows that they are detached from economic realities on the ground. Grab, public commuting and/or fuel costs are no joke these days and will eat up any expendable income.

    BPO workers might end up being worse off than even minimum wage earners who are given an option to work from home, since money that could be savings will only be spent on transportation.

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