Tell it to SunStar: Resolve work from home impasse ASAP

Sen. Risa Hontiveros is calling on the country’s incoming economic managers to remove the uncertainty and finally resolve the work-from-home (WFH) impasse in the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector.“Ideally, before the country’s new economic team is installed, it should already find a common ground with the IT-BPM sector and remove the anxiety of their investors and international clients. Let’s not forget that the IT-BPM sector has been the only consistent generator of jobs in the past two and a half years of the pandemic. If we take care of the workers, the sector is set to continue attracting talent and growing. Working remotely also lessens the cost and cuts down on the stress of commuting, especially in Metro Manila,” the senator said.To date, there’s no final decision yet on whether to allow business process outsourcing (BPO) and registered business enterprises to continue their WFH setup indefinitely.The initial “return to on-site work” announcement issued last March caused an uproar among BPO employees. The workers argued that they end up spending more when they are required to show up on-site.“I agree with the demands of the BPO workers. I think those are very reasonable demands. They’re already borne out by existing realities in the world of work. The workers have been productive in their WFH setup. They really optimized the online nature of their work. It will be a big help to their daily budget if they continue this work-from-home setup,” Hontiveros said.The government is currently allowing a hybrid 30 percent WFH setup until Sept. 12, 2022, the so-called “end of the state of the Covid-19 calamity” declared by President Rodrigo Duterte.“Hopefully our economic team will heed our workers. Our workers have said their piece. The ball is now in the next administration’s court. It’s high time we start working under a ‘better normal,’ and not just a ‘new normal.’ Hopefully we will not go backwards…to force everyone to go back to pre-pandemic working conditions. Let us be flexible,” Hontiveros added.