By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang lauded the signing of the Telecommuting Act by President Duterte, as they stay upbeat that the legislation will help ease the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after it was revealed Thursday that President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11165 on December 20 last year.
In his statement, Panelo lauded lawmakers for passing the bill which can ease traffic congestion. He also noted how the government needs to catch up with the changing times.
“Times are changing and we have seen how the government responds and adapts to different work environments,” he said Friday.
“We laud our lawmakers for the timely passage of RA No. 11165 since telecommuting as a work arrangement is fast becoming the new norm with the Filipino labor market starting to open up with alternative avenues in view of computer technologies,” Panelo added.
“With its full implementation, we are optimistic that this arrangement can also contribute in easing the traffic conditions in Metro Manila and in other urban areas,” he continued.
According to Panelo, the newly signed law will give fair treatment to telecommuting employees in the private sector who can now work from home or any place outside the employers’ premises, and still be given the same treatment and entitlements as those employees physically working at the offices.
“We are confident that the Department of Labor and Employment will perform thoroughly as it leads the government put into action the directives of the law,” he said.
“PRRD’s signing of the Telecommuting Act is indeed a recognition of an emerging and innovative Filipino workforce,” he added.
Under the new law, employers may offer a telecommuting program which must observe labor laws and include compensable work hours, minimum number of work hours, overtime, rest days, and entitlement to leave benefits.
Workers must receive a rate of pay, including overtime and night shift differential, and other benefits now lower than those provided in applicable laws and collective bargaining agreements.
Employers must also ensure that workers will have the right to rest periods, regular holidays, and special nonworking days; and have the same workload and performance standards as those of comparable workers at the office.
Telecommuting workers will also have access to training and career development opportunities; receive training on the technical equipment at their disposal, and the characteristics and conditions of telecommuting; and have collective rights as the workers at the employer’s premises, and shall not be barred from communicating with workers’ representatives.
Read more: Telecommuting Act signed into law