Lacson Backs Workers’ Calls for Flexibility to Extend WFH, Workweek Setup

Citing high fuel and transportation costs especially amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson took up the cudgels for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector in its call to extend the work-from-home (WFH) setup for employees in call centers.

Lacson, who is running for President under Partido Reporma, said that while the government needs to reopen the economy, it must take into account the plight of ordinary workers coping with higher costs of living due to high fuel prices.

“Ang hiling ng BPO sector na palawigin ang WFH from April to September, sinususugan ko po yan dahil maraming nagsara na mga opisina nila at gusto nilang magpatuloy ang WFH. At meron tayong Telecommuting Act (I support the BPO sector’s call to extend WFH setup from April to September, because their offices had closed during the pandemic and they want to continue the WFH setup. Besides, we already have the Telecommuting Act),” he said at the Commission on Elections’ First Presidential Debate Saturday evening.

Related: Ping, Sinuportahan ang Pagpapalawig ng WFH, 4-day Workweek

The Department of Finance earlier said the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) upheld its Resolution No. 19-21, allowing the WFH arrangement of registered IT-BPM enterprises until March 31.

Lacson also cited the costs of fuel and transportation in reiterating his support for a four-day workweek.

His support is premised on the worker being compensated for five days’ work since the total hours he/she worked is the same whether he/she worked four days or five days.

At Saturday evening’s debate, he also stressed the four-day workweek should be a temporary arrangement.

Meanwhile, Lacson said measures have to be taken for the medium term, including skills matching – but this can be done if government digitalizes its processes and transactions. This can be done through improved internet service, he said.