Jinggoy Estrada wants to incentivize flexible work arrangements
Former senator and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino president Jinggoy Estrada said he will help institutionalize and provide incentives for alternative or flexible work arrangements should he succeed in his Senate comeback bid on May 9.
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that flexible arrangements like the work-from-home (WFH) set up works. The economy continued to function and workers remained productive even if they’re not physically in their offices,” Estrada said on Saturday.
The former two-term senator said hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Pinoy workers especially in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry managed to perform their tasks and even became more productive under the WFH set up.
“Of course, working from home only applies to certain industries. There are jobs like those in manufacturing, agriculture and service industries that still require hands-on and physical presence. These are outside my flexible work arrangement proposal,” he stressed.
The veteran lawmaker said limited transportation and mobility as well as possible spread of COVID-19 infections were some of the reasons why many Filipinos preferred alternative work arrangements during the pandemic. “But I believe we can make it work, too, even when the COVID-19 infection rate goes down and the economy returns to normal,” he explained.
He said employers and employees should be given the freedom to agree on the best working arrangements. “As long as the work is done properly and employers are happy with the results, I don’t see any reason why we should compel private companies to force their employees to physically report for work,” he said.
Besides, Estrada said, investors bring in money and create jobs hence they deserve incentives. “I think they’re in the best position to determine the most convenient and productive working arrangement for their workers. They deserve flexibility instead of more government intervention,” he stressed.
The lawmaker from San Juan recalled the clamor of BPO workers to be allowed to continue working from home. They cited the difficulty of commuting to and from work, heavy traffic, fear of infection, and the need to look after their children or loved ones.
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