Hybrid work set-up yields more competitive workforce: Sen. Poe

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2022 01:56 PM

MANILA — Allowing some employees to continue working remotely has made the workforce more competitive, Sen. Grace Poe said Wednesday.

The hybrid work arrangements bring advantages to the workers' physical, emotional and mental health, she said.

She noted that employees currently spend an average of 4 hours daily on travel time and at the minimum, some P50,000 annually for gas and food.

"If they don't have to leave their homes, 75 percent of those surveyed feel they are physically better working from home. And also they like it because they're able to spend more time with their families," Poe told ANC's "Headstart".

The government has allowed the business process outsourcing sector to transfer to the Board of Investments from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in order to continue remote work arrangements until Dec. 31.

Citing studies, Poe said the hybrid work setup may even bring in more businesses for the country next year.

"Right now, we are looking at 1.4 million individuals that are in the contact center industry. That will significantly increase with this work-from-home setup because they don't have to pay too much when it comes to office space... So, I think this is quite promising," she said.

The BPO sector provides $25 billion annually to the Philippine economy, she added.

The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 125 urging the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the implementation of the Telecommuting Act or Republic Act 11165 in order to propose amendments to the measure, with the end goal of promoting work-from-home and hybrid work arrangements.

"RA 11165 recognizes the technological developments that have opened up new and alternative avenues for employees to carry out their work such as telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements," the resolution said. 

Section 8 of the law directs the Department of Labor and Employment to establish and maintain a telecommuting pilot program and submit its findings to Congress, Poe cited in her resolution.