Employees to work from home as Covid-19 cases rise in the Philippines

The Department of Labour and Employment is encouraging employees to work from home to curb the spread of the virus.
By: | December 21, 2023

Organisations in the private sector are encouraged to implement work-from-home (WFH) arrangements as COVID-19 cases spike in the Philippines, announced the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) earlier this week.  

Bienvenido Laguesma, Labour Secretary of the DOLE, has stated that this would help reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace and prevent employees’ families from contracting it. The implementation of WFH arrangements would be possible under the Telecommuting Act.

“Of course, it would be better if face-to-face work continues,” Laguesma explained. “We just have to balance.”

The Labour Secretary said that the government was currently not exploring restoring antigen testing in the workplace, encouraging organisations and individuals to test themselves on their own initiative.

READ MORE: DOLE reminds employers of holiday pay rules for December

Benjo Benavidez, Labour Undersecretary of the DOLE, meanwhile, has announced that a labour advisory regarding WFH arrangements has been issued. He cited this as a way for both employers and employees to be aware of their rights and obligations, based on management prerogative. So far, Benavidez has said, reports of COVID-19 cases in workplaces have not been received.

“Under Occupational Safety and Health law, they are required to report injuries and illnesses in a given period. We expect that there is an uptick given the mobility during the holidays,” he said.