Bacolod ICT urges gov’t to mainstream work-from-home for IT-BPM

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The Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) is urging the government to mainstream the work-from-home (WFH) scheme for IT-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies.

The organization which is composed of the industry, academe and government in a position statement said it supports remote employment as part of digital transformation and innovation. The statement was released by the organization after the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) set a hard deadline for IT-BPM companies to return to office by April 1.

The ICT organization further call on FIRB to recall its Resolution No, 19-21, which allowed IT-BPM firms in economic zones to implement work-from-home arrangements for 90% of their workforce only until the end of March 2022.

“This FIRB action may cause negative impact on the goal of the country to embrace a digital economy as part of the overarching goal of economies around the world to embrace digital transformation that fully embraces remote employment or work from home or offsite arrangements especially for information and communications technology (ICT) – driven jobs,” it added in its position statement.

It further stressed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 is marked with business models where workers work and collaborate in teams of varying competencies from remote points around the world in different time zones.

With that, BNEFIT said ICTs have seamlessly allowed professionals around the world to collaborate regardless of their locations and delivering clear, timely and measurable results. The top economies in the world today have fully integrated remote employment or work from home arrangements even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to increase productivity and creativity of workers and to lessen their burden of having to commute to work and other inconvenience.

According to BNEFIT, the IT-BPM industry proved to be among the most resilient industries during the pandemic and has even marked a steady increase in terms of revenues, employment generation, and investment attractions.

It said: “Even before the pandemic, the IT-BPM industry has continuously increased jobs and improved the economic conditions not only in Metro Manila but in the countryside, among various provinces around the country.”

The group explained that eliminating the work from home option will be damaging to our economy as we are still struggling to recover from the damaging impact of the pandemic and is constantly competing with other IT-BPM locations around the world.

With the growing prices of fuel, BNEFIT said they are concerned about the flight of our Filipino workers who wish to excel in digital profession but will be forced to spend time and money to commute to work regularly, instead of spending all their precious hours earning decent income, it stressed. This strategy will greatly contribute to sustaining the global lead of the Philippine IT-BPM industry and will also drive connectivity to residential and remote areas as demand increases, it added.

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