Benefits, grants sought for BPO workers returning to office


THE GOVERNMENT should support employees returning to perform on-site work in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector, also known as the Business Process Outsourcing sector (BPO), said a candidate from the Akbayan party list.

The party’s second-list candidate, Raymond John S. Naguit, said in a statement Thursday that IT-BPM workers required to return to the office need subsidized travel and free coronavirus disease 2019 testing. (COVID-19), after the industry was recently denied permission to continue doing most of its work remotely.

Akbayan supports the industry’s position on continuing work from home (WFH) arrangements for employees until September, saying the government needs time to prepare the working environment to make it safer, and also to protect workers from high fuel prices.

“If BPO workers are required to return to work on site, they should receive greater benefits and subsidies. The government must ensure that COVID-19 testing for all BPO workers is free and that adequate public transport is made available, combined with a sufficient transport subsidy for workers returning to work on site. , said Mr. Naguit.

Incentives given to economic zone locators, including IT-BPM companies, are tied to working in economic zones as they are classified as separate customs territories under the law. Economic managers have argued that the continued enjoyment of ecozone locator tax privileges despite telecommuting agreements puts non-locators at a disadvantage.

During the pandemic, the industry was granted an exemption from working from home in the interest of safety. The telework authorization expires on March 31.

Mr Naguit also called on the industry to subsidize the personal electricity and internet bills of remote workers.

“Under Republic Act No. 11165 or the Telecommuting Act, employees are entitled to reimbursement (of) all expenses incurred while on WFH,” Naguit said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave