ITBPM seeks ‘staggered’ return to on-site office work

The IT-business process management (ITBPM) industry is looking at proposing for a staggered return of their workers to onsite offices with the ultimate goal to transition to a hybrid 70 percent onsite and 30 percent work from home (WFH) arrangement in the longer term.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Deputy Directorr General Tereso Panga confirmed the ITBPM industry’s proposal for a staggered scheme, similar to India, the world’s leading destination for ITBPM operations.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority

The planned transition to hybrid scheme has targeted the transition to start next month, April up to June 30 or end of the Duterte administration with 60 percent WFH and 40 percent on site. The ratio will be adjusted to an equal 50-50 ratio from July 1- Sept. 28 or end of the declaration of the state calamity. By Oct. 1-Dec., the hybrid scheme should be 30 percent WFH and 70 percent onsite operation.

Panga explained that the India scheme even allowed a 100 percent WFH arrangement.

For its part, PEZA allowed its registered enterprises up to 90 percent WFH in consideration of the pandemic, but this will expire end this month, March.

PEZA backed the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines’ petition to extend the WFH arrangement to 100 percent up to September, but this was already denied by the Fiscal and Incentives Review Board as the government is now reopening the economy to full capacity.

In a statement, the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said they support the reopening of the economy but still insisted for a transition to hybrid work model in the longer term.

“We support the need to fully reopen the economy. But as IT-BPM employees have an overwhelming preference for a

balanced, hybrid work arrangement, we are working with our government partners to provide the industry a smooth transition to onsite operations towards a WFH/Hybrid model in the longer term,” said IBPAP President and CEO Jack Madrid.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said PEZA will ask for a reconsideration especially that the cost of oil and goods are higher because of the war in Ukraine.

Also, Plaza said the pandemic is not yet over and that ITBPM enterprises incurred high investment on equipment like laptops for WFH, but most of the investment is also in preparation for the new normal.

Plaza also said that India and other countries are now adopting the hybrid scheme.

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