Villanueva pushes for WFH set up with tax perks for ecozone firms
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has filed a bill seeking to allow employees in ecozones and freeports to work from home (WFH) while maintaining the tax and fiscal incentives given to their companies.
Senate Bill No. 135 or the “Work-from-Home in Ecozones” bill amends the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) law.
Under Create law Chapter VI Section 309, a project or activity under an Investment Promotion Agency will exclusively be conducted within the zone or freeport. Activities held outside the zone or freeport will not be eligible for incentives.
Villanueva pushed to amend the said section to allow workers to adopt a hybrid setup amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This bill seeks to allow entities registered with Investment Promotion Agencies, such the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to enter into voluntary work-from-home arrangements with their employees, without losing their tax incentives,” Villanueva said on the bill’s explanatory note.
“Indeed, adaptability has helped our country survive this pandemic, and we must ensure that flexibility emanates from our laws in light of the rapid technological developments and global best practices,” he added.
The senator lamented that several workers who experienced working from home chose to quit their jobs due to “cost in time, money, and effort if they are forced to work on-site.”
“When we passed the Telecommuting Act, one of the issues it aims to address is decongesting our roads due to the worsening traffic situation in the country,” Villanueva said in a statement Thursday.
The Telecommuting Act allows workers in the private sector to adopt an alternative work arrangement.
“Three years after its passage, the [work from home] 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 continued.
Several other senators have earlier expressed support for the hybrid work setup.
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