MANILA — The approval of the transfer of business process outsourcing (BPO) firms to the Bureau of Investments, which does not have geographical limits in conducting businesses, is a sign that the government recognized the sector's economic contribution, an industry group said Monday.
IT-BPM firms, which include BPOs, lobbied for the continuation of work-from-home and hybrid work arrangements even after mobility restrictions were lifted.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Friday announced that registered BPO firms may be allowed to transfer to the Bureau of Investments (BOI) from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to resolve the work-from-home issue.
The Fiscal Review and Incentives Board (FIRB) earlier ordered BPOs to return to their offices to continue enjoying perks from the government. PEZA-registered firms are mandated by law to conduct activities within ecozones.
"After two years of making a case for what the benefits of WFH/hybrid work are, it is great news that the FIRB will be facilitating a smooth paper transfer of the registration of IT-BPM enterprises from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the Board of Investments (BOI)," the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines said in a statement.
"On behalf of the Philippine IT-BPM sector and its 1.44 million Filipino employees, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) would like to express our appreciation for President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr.’s clear understanding and vision of how indispensable IT-BPM is to the economy," it added.
The WFH arrangement, initially implemented to ensure work during the pandemic, has "ushered in a new era of work for the sector," the IBPAP said.
"This will not involve physically relocating their operations or giving up the incentives that they are currently enjoying. This is a wonderful outcome to IBPAP’s staunch advocacy for WFH/hybrid work, and we are extremely thankful to our partners in the government for listening to the sector and its employees in adapting to flexible work arrangements in the future of work," the group said.
The group said this development would support its goal of generating 1.1 million new direct jobs, adding billions in revenue and increasing economic activities in the countryside by 2028.