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PEZA will appeal for the work-from-home extension of IT-BPO employees

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) would ask a review board to reconsider the decision requiring BPO firms back in the office by April 1.
PEZA will appeal for the work-from-home extension of IT-BPO employees
File photo: BPO employees in the office set-up

A  proposal for hybrid work arrangement

Previously, we had a report that the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) turned down requests to extend remote-work arrangements. Companies from the information technology-business process management sector would have to require their whole workforce to report to the office by April this year.

However, PEZA is not giving up on pushing for the extension of the work-from-home (WFH) scheme. In the meantime, the regulatory agency is advising BPOs to comply with the decision of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB). PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said,

PEZA will still file its appeal for reconsideration on the denial by the FIRB. We hear the concerns of our investors and their workers and we will continue to lobby on it. In the meantime, I call upon our enterprises to follow the decision of the FIRB to avoid any penalties.

She also pointed out that PEZA needs to abide by the FIRB's decision so the locators must be already planning for the transition for their return to the office.

Plaza added that the investment promotion agency remains positive of the FIRB's reconsideration. This is mainly because the IT-BPO sector is one of the biggest contributors to the country in terms of employment, investments, and technology transfer as well.

Allegedly, PEZA is supporting the proposal of the IBPAP for a hybrid working arrangement for IT-BPO firms. The director-general said that PH must learn from the likes of India, one of the top competitors in the industry. She explained that they are adjusting its policies and tax breaks to adopt a hybrid work arrangement.

A hybrid work model is means employees can work from both onsite and offsite locations. In this work arrangement, the employer and employees can agree on the percentage of WFH and those who must physically report to the office. It may depend on the position or functions of the employee.

IBPAP president and CEO Jack Madrid earlier said that IT-BPM employees have an overwhelming preference for a balanced, hybrid work arrangement. This is why they are working with the government partners [like PEZA] to provide the industry a smooth transition to onsite operations towards a WFH/hybrid model in the longer term."

What do you guys think?

Source: GMA News

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