IT-BPO Group Applauds WFH Extension in the Philippines
The IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines Inc. (IBPAP) welcomed the Department of Finance (DOF) announcement regarding the extension of work from home (WFH) policy earlier agreed with the government until further notice.
IBPAP president Jack Madrid noted that the investors, together with the employees, were relieved that DOF listened to their request.
Madrid expressed, “We are relieved and we are also looking forward to a more permanent and much needed solution.”
Madrid stated that most of the workforce and employers strongly prefer a hybrid work setup.
Furthermore, in an effort to reduce concerns that the quality of work is affected by such an arrangement, Madrid expressed, “We experienced extremely high productivity levels without any dip in customer satisfaction ratings from our global customers through the pandemic.”
Finance Secretary and Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) Benjamin Diokno cited that business process outsourcing (BPO) firms must keep 70% onsite and 30% WFH arrangement.
Diokno’s statement explains this would be until the FIRB decides on the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s (PEZA) request to extend it.
Panga stated that it might result in the resignation of highly skilled employees if the non-extension forces firms requires 100% of their employees to return working on-site.
Panga shows concern that it may drive employees to look for a job that offers more flexible work arrangements.
In addition, he mentioned that firms might decide to cancel their registration with PEZA and build their business outside the Philippines, where a hybrid work set-up does not result in the loss of fiscal incentives.
Since last April, entities registered in PEZA were given the freedom to work arrangements and continue to receive tax incentives despite 30% of their employees working remotely.
Earlier last month, the IBPA cited that the industry grew its revenue in 2021 by 10.6%, recording $29.49 billion in revenues. The sector’s full-time employees also increased by 120,000 last year, bringing the overall headcount to 1.44 million people.
In 2022, the sector is expected to further grow its revenues by up to 10% and its full-time employees by up to 8%.