Villanueva supports call to extend WFH for BPO workers
Villanueva supports call to extend WFH for BPO workers
Villanueva supports call to extend WFH for BPO workers
by John Dexter Tilo11 March 2022
Photo courtesy of Senator Joel Villanueva's Facebook page.

Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday expressed his support to business process outsourcing (BPO) workers who are appealing to get their work-from-home (WFH) arrangements extended beyond March 31.

This comes after the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) maintained that BPO employees should return onsite starting April 1 or their companies' tax-exempt incentives would be revoked.

According to Villanueva, who is the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resource Development, the expensive cost of commuting to offices due to skyrocketing gas prices is a compelling reason to extend WFH.

"I believe that the rise in gas prices is exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, which makes the appeal to extend the deadline a very reasonable one," the senator said in a statement.


Villanueva said the move to order employees back on-site would put the burden on workers and BPO firms, noting that the money they earn for food would just be redirected to commuting costs.

"If government is scrambling to 'soften the pain' of surging oil prices for many sectors like drivers and farmers, then 1.3 million BPO workers should be entitled to the same mitigation," he also said.

The senator pointed out that, unlike other sectors, BPO workers are not asking for subsidies but only extended WFH arrangements, a measure that Villanueva said: "will not cost the government anything."

The FIRB previously attributed its decision to bring back employees to offices to help support small businesses relying on BPO workers for their livelihoods.


But Villanueva disagreed with this.

"Bakit hindi ba nila ginagastos nang buo ang sweldo nila kahit nasa bahay sila nagtratrabaho? Pareho lang nagagamit ang sweldo nasa opisina man o nasa bahay," he said.

(Why, are they not spending their salaries if they are working from home? Their money remains spent whether they are at the office or at home.)

"The location of their workstation has no bearing on their spending habits or the level of their savings," he added.


Villanueva renewed his call for the implementation of Republic Act No. 11165 or the Work From Home Law, which recognizes WFH and provides employers with guidelines on how to properly enforce remote work for the staff.

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