PEZA open to extend 30% percent WFH arrangement until March 2023

The work-from-home arrangements of employees of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) are likely to be extended until March next year.

PEZA said its management is prepared to extend the Letters of Authority (LOAs) allowing for 30 percent work-from-home limit to IT locators who were registered with PEZA prior to CREATE.

These were the locators that were initially issued work-from-home LOAs in March 2022 with a validity period up to September 12 this year.

PEZA said the matter is up for discussion in its upcoming board meeting.

With the pronouncement of President Bongbong Marcos to extend the national state of calamity until end-2022, PEZA expects the Cabinet-level Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to issue a supporting resolution allowing the extension of 30 percent work-from-home limit for the same period.

According to PEZA, the extension of the 30 percent work-from-home limit until March 2023 is in support of the IBPAP’s request for a longer work-from-home authority so that the locators can plan better for the work schedule of their employees vis-a-vis increasing market demands.

PEZA is working closely with the Board of Investments (BOI) and FIRB on how to institutionalize the hybrid workplace, particularly for ecozone export-oriented locators that are required to operate in their designated IT centers.

“We feel that the government can be more proactive and responsive to the needs of ecozone locators if it will extend to them the WFH privileges under a hybrid work set-up,” PEZA said.

“This solution will not only put PEZA on equal footing with the BOI since both agencies offer the same incentives to their RBEs (whether domestic or export-market oriented), but will also make the Philippines apace with India and other forward-thinking economies that have adopted WFH and hybrid work as the new normal,” it added.