Making telecommuting work
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Republic Act 1165 or “An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector” was recently signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte. The new law allows employers and workers to agree on the terms of change in work venues and has been hailed as one of the best and innovative ways of maintaining productivity for both employers and employees in the light of the worsening traffic situation in major cities across the country.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas said “It improves organization retention, employee performance and customer satisfaction. It also boosts employees’ health, as telecommuting lessens exposure to pollution.”
The Department of Labor and Employment that is expected to issue the implementing rules and regulations to guide employers and workers in availing themselves of the new work arrangement sees minimal changes in the operations of commercial establishments as the DOLE has long been allowing flexible work time and the reduction of work hours.
Telecommuting is totally different from flexible work time and,hopefully,the DOLE realizes the difference as it works to come up with the IRR that will allow both employers and employees to benefit from this arrangement that is supposed to take advantage of technology and at the same time improve the quality of life by reducing traffic in metropolitan areas.
The intent of the telecommuting law is commendable and while it has been proven to be effective in many first world countries, it will be up to our government and the DOLE to understand the nuances of the Filipino workplaces where telecommuting can be a viable option, and lay down the rules and safeguards that can make it work for employers and employees alike.
Hopefully, our Department of Labor and Employment can extract the benefits of the telecommuting law that has the potential to make work for certain sectors and industries more productive and bearable, especially in crowded cities where the quality of life can potentially be improved significantly by occasional telecommutes that produce fruitful results for everyone involved.*