Former Makati City Rep. Monsour Del Rosario has urged the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to reconsider its stand on the April 1 return-to-office deadline for BPO companies.
“I think it’s too inconsiderate and cruel,” Del Rosario said, following the FIRB’s warning to remove the tax-exempt incentives being enjoyed by BPOs if they do not comply.
As author of the Telecommuting Act of 2018, otherwise known as the “Work From Home” Law, Del Rosario said the rights of workers to be able to perform their duties remotely must be upheld and supported, especially during this pandemic.
“I understand that the intention of the FIRB is to help revive our economy by having more people go out to support other businesses. But forcing BPO workers to go out while we are still in the middle of a pandemic is quite unreasonable,” he said.
“Who’s going to suffer from this sudden imposition of a return-to-office deadline but the humble BPO workers who helped keep our economy afloat over the past two years? All the BPOs are asking for is a few months extension. Why is that so hard to give?” Del Rosario added.
He said forcing the entire BPO industry to return to their offices immediately could have more negative effects rather than good.
“One of the reasons why I pushed for the Telecommuting Act while I was in Congress is to help ease the traffic situation in the cities. Imagine if we bring everyone out again while our public transport system is currently being crippled by the rising fuel prices, then wouldn’t our BPO workers suffer more physically, mentally, and even financially?” he said.
Del Rosario said threatening BPO companies with tax impositions, which would eventually lead to BPO companies imposing sanctions on their employees who will refuse to return to the office for valid reasons, are outright violations of the Telecommuting Act.
“The government should look into this matter more before it gets complicated. We shouldn’t allow any entity or government body to step on the rights of our people at any cost,” he said.