BPO sector says it is discussing a hybrid working regime

MANILA – The IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector is in discussions with relevant agencies and stakeholders on possible “hybrid working arrangements” as it seeks a smoother return to on-premises configuration, a group said Wednesday.

IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) CEO Jack Madrid clarified that despite the government order asking ecozone locators to return to physical locations, more than 440 companies have received letters Authorization (LOA) from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which enabled remote work for 30% of their workforce.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is part of the IT-BPM sector, which directly employs some 1.4 million Filipinos in total.

“We have ongoing discussions about what hybrid work-from-home arrangements will look like. I have always called for a smooth transition for on-site operations… This is necessary to retain the country’s competitiveness as a investment destination”, says Madrid.

“All we have really sought while respecting the law is a smooth transition back, allowing more than one million employees who have worked from home during the pandemic, a smoother transition back to work. website,” he added.

Madrid also called on tax inspectors not to confuse LOAs with failure to comply with the government’s order to resume work on site. The LOAs are valid until September, he added.

He also reiterated that the work-from-home setup has not diminished productivity and work quality during the pandemic.

“Overall productivity and satisfaction during the pandemic has actually improved…Our industry has proven that we are more than capable of providing quality service to customers around the world,” Madrid said.

“So I can’t think of better proof that this hybrid work-from-home model is working… There’s no end to the demand for Filipino talent,” he added.

BPOs shifted to remote working at the height of the pandemic. But the government had asked companies to return or lose tax incentives because the law requires locators to operate in ecozones, Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez said earlier.

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