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VILLANUEVA BATS FOR WFH IN ECOZONES WITH TAX PERKS

Senator Joel Villanueva is pushing for a measure allowing businesses registered in investment promotion agencies to adopt a Work-from-Home (WFH) arrangement for their employees while maintaining their tax and fiscal incentives.

The allowance for companies in the Information Technology- Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector operating in ecozones to adopt a WFH arrangement covering 30% of its workers is set to expire on September 12, 2022.

Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 135, also known as the “Work-from-Home in Ecozones” bill, amends Republic Act No. 11534, also known as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), to allow registered business enterprises in economic zones and freeports to enter into voluntary hybrid work arrangements without losing their tax incentives.

“Many of our kababayans who have experienced the work-from-home setup are now choosing to resign from their jobs because of the cost in time, money and effort if they are forced to work on-site.”

“Many of our kababayans who have experienced the work-from-home setup are now choosing to resign from their jobs because of the cost in time, money and effort if they are forced to work on-site,” the veteran legislator added.

“The WFH arrangement facilitated the creation of 23,000 new jobs in 2020, and another 100,000 new jobs in 2021.”

According to the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines, the WFH arrangement facilitated the creation of 23,000 new jobs in 2020, and another 100,000 new jobs in 2021, with revenues increasing by around 12% in 2021, reaching a total of $28.8 billion or around P1.505 trillion.

“When we passed the Telecommuting Act, one of the issues it aimed to address was decongesting our roads due to the worsening traffic situation in the country,” the senator stressed  

“Three years after its passage, the WFH Law became pivotal as the Filipino labor force shifted to alternative modes of work, especially online, because of the nationwide lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Villanueva was the principal sponsor of the Republic Act No. 11165 of the Telecommuting Act in the 17th Congress, which was passed into law in 2018.

“Kapag hindi pa rin tayo handa sa Fourth Industrial Revolution at nakatali ang ating mga insentibong pangnegosyo sa regulasyong hindi na angkop sa panahon, lalo pong mapag- iiwanan ang bansa at mahihirapan po tayo,” he noted.

Aside from the Work From Home in Ecozones bill, Villanueva also filed the Adoption of Alternative Work Arrangements Bill (Senate Bill No. 134) and the Freelancers Protection Bill (Senate Bill No. 136) this 19th Congress.

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