Some employees in the Philippines unwilling to return to workplaces
This was according to survey results from the 1,400-member Alliance of Call Centre Workers (ACW) amid the government’s blanket order to end hybrid work arrangements from April 1.
These workers said they would either resign or consider leaving the BPO sector to find employment elsewhere. Currently, over one million BPO workers have work-from-home arrangements with their employers, according to ACW.
In a virtual press briefing, ACW co-convenor Emman David said many of their members have returned to their hometowns outside Metro Manila since the lockdown began in 2020. And given the advantages of working off-site, including doing away with commutes to the office and the ability to take care of and spend more time with their families, persuading BPO workers to return to offices in Metro Manila would prove difficult.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez – who heads the board that reviews tax perks for economic zones to which BPO companies belong – said that though BPO employers have the prerogative to let their staff continue to work from home, such employers would lose out on their tax incentives.
The government’s rationale is that on-site work would create a ripple effect on the economy as BPOs renew lease contracts with the property sector, and peripheral businesses like restaurants, cafes, and flats could benefit from that, according to CNN Philippines.