Solon urges FIRB to reconsider on-site work for BPOs

Philippine News Agency

Apr 28, 2022

EXCERPT


ACT-CIS Rep. Niña Taduran urged the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to reconsider its ultimatum requiring BPO workers to physically report to work by April 1.Taduran noted that although BPOs in special economic zones are covered by Republic Act 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, requiring all registered companies to operate within the ecozones to enjoy tax incentives, incentives must still be available as long as the head office of a BPO firm remains within a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-administered building or facility.


“Furthermore, we have a Telecommuting law, which is effective for the entire country, and that includes the special economic zones,” she said.Republic Act 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,” Taduran said. “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,” she added.


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