LESS TRAFFIC, MORE FAMILY TIME | Work-from-home bill advances in the Senate

May 11, 2017 - 1:12 PM
Reuters file photo of a work-from-home employee

MANILA, Philippines – A bill that seeks to promote work-from-home policy for Filipino employees has taken a step forward at the Senate after lawmakers finished the period of interpellations on Senate Bill No. 1363 Wednesday night.

Sen. Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development said the panel was forward to starting the period of individual amendments next week, and we hope to pass the measure on third and final reading before the last day of session on May 31.”

S.B. 1363 authored by Villanueva seeks to promote work-from-home by encouraging the employers to allow telecommuting or the partial or total substitution of computers or telecommunication technologies for the commute to work by employees.

“We want to push for our Filipino workers to have a meaningful work-life balance by encouraging employers to explore telecommuting as a way of allowing work flexibility,” Villanueva said.

Aside from promoting work-life balance, the bill also seeks to address traffic congestion and its tremendous effect on the country’s economy.

A study by the Japan International Coordination Agency says traffic costs Metro Manila nearly P2.5 billion in lost productivity per day.

Para po sa ikabubuti ng manggagawang Pilipino ang panukalang ito. Mas magkakaroon sila ng mahabang oras para sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay [This bill is for the welfare of our Filipino workers. They would have more time for their loved ones],” said Villanueva.

Hindi na kinakailangan pang sumuong sa trapik upang pumunta sa opisina dahil maari na nilang gawin ang kanilang trabaho sa kani-kanilang tahanan sa tulong na rin ng makabagong teknolohiya, [Workers will no longer need to plow into traffic to go to the office because they would already be able to do their work in their homes with the help of new technology]” Villanueva said.

“Our workers have the right to a work-life balance. They have the right to a flexible work arrangement. They have the right to be allowed to work-from-home,” the senator added.