The Philippines prepares organisations to work from anywhere

New legislation is redefining what constitutes a workplace and how work is conducted away from the traditional office.
By: | October 4, 2022

The new implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to Republic Act No. 11165, or the Telecommuting Act of 2018, embodied in Department Order (DO) No. 237 issued on September 16, is partly in response to the evolving nature of work during the time of the pandemic, according to Benjo Benavidez, Undersecretary of the Department of Labour and Employment (Dole) Workers’ Welfare and Protection Cluster.

“Aside from the work-from-home [setup] observed by the department, the public may have also noticed that in the past year, work-from-everywhere [settings] have sprung up. Telecommuting is a new work arrangement, and it continues to evolve, so it is necessary that our policies should adapt,” he said. 

He explained in a televised public briefing that this was the reason the term “alternative workplace” was redefined. “We clarified that any place where work can be done through telecommunications or computer technology can be regarded as an alternative workplace,” he noted.

READ: The Philippines proposes to consider commute time as working time

More importantly, the IRR stated that the work done in the alternative workplace must be treated on the same level as work done in the regular workplace or in the employers’ offices, which means telecommuting workers are not considered as field personnel.   

“The significance of this is in terms of the benefits that must be given to a telecommuting employee, [and the application of] minimum wage, labour standards [and other forms of] employee’s compensation [similar to the office-based worker’s],” he said, reported Inquirer.