Senator Encourages WFH Arrangements with Tax Perks for Ecozone Firms in the Philippines
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has filed a bill that aims to permit employees working in ecozones and freeports to work from home (WFH) while maintaining the tax and fiscal incentives given to the companies they work for.
Senate Bill No. 135 or the “Work-from-Home in Ecozones” bill modifies the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) law.
According to CREATE law Chapter VI Section 309, an activity under an Investment Promotion Agency will exclusively be conducted within the zone or freeport. Other endeavors made outside the zone will be ineligible for the incentives.
Villanueva urges to alter the said section to allow employees to adopt a hybrid setup amid the pandemic.
“This bill seeks to allow entities registered with Investment Promotion Agencies, such the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to enter into voluntary work-from-home arrangements with their employees, without losing their tax incentives.”
In addition, Villanueva noted, “Indeed, adaptability has helped our country survive this pandemic, and we must ensure that flexibility emanates from our laws in light of the rapid technological developments and global best practices.”
Villanueva lamented that many workers who experienced working from home chose to quit their jobs due to “cost in time, money, and effort if they are forced to work on-site.”
Villanueva cited, “When we passed the Telecommuting Act, one of the issues it aims to address is decongesting our roads due to the worsening traffic situation in the country.”
The Telecommuting Act permits employees working in the private sector to adopt an alternative work set-up.
Villanueva added, “Three years after its passage, the [work from home] Law became pivotal as the Filipino labor force shifted to alternative modes of work, especially online, because of the nationwide lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Other senators has also expressed their support for the hybrid work arrangement.