Senate-Candidate Calls to Adjust Mandatory Back-to-Office Plans for BPO Workers in The Philippines
Partido Reporma Senatorial Candidate Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar stated that workers who have been on a work-from-home (WFH) setup since the start of the pandemic, especially employees from business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors, must be given enough time to adjust before they are required to return to their offices.
Eleazar noted that the uneasiness of the employees about the safety of traveling and working onsite should be given consideration since most of them are still with their loved ones that are either not yet vaccinated or with comorbidities.
In 2021, employment in the IT-BPO sector increased to 8% or 1.43 million. This sector has been thriving even in the hybrid model that contributed to the economy during the pandemic.
Given that there are still cases the IT-BPO sectors ask for an extension of the WFH and hybrid work arrangements.
Eleazar mentioned, “As long as there are people being hospitalized and dying of COVID-19, we cannot consider our situation truly safe. Many people were severely affected in the past two years. It remains traumatic for some, especially if a member of their family were among those affected.”
Eleazer cited that another reason that should be considered is the recent surge in the prices of basic goods and services due to the series of the oil price hike as a result of the heightened conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The government is requiring all workers to report back to their respective offices starting April 1, 2022, to hasten the revival of the severely affected economy caused by the pandemic.
Still, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) refused the request to extend remote work arrangements as the COVID-19 situation is continuously improving.
Eleazar cited that the government must also be open to ideas that some companies will still observe remote set-ups and hybrid arrangements in which enough workers would be on-site while others are working in their homes.
Moreover, Eleazar noted that employees are continuously productive while they are working in the comforts and safety of their homes.