President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved a new labor policy that would give private sector employees the option of working from home or from any workplace outside their company offices.
Republic Act 11165, or the Telecommuting Act, was signed into law on December 20, 2018, but a copy was released to the media only on January 10, 2019.
It defines telecommuting as a “work arrangement that allows an employee in the private sector to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.”
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. said this “game-changing labor policy” is seen to ease traffic congestion in metropolitan areas.
“It is high time to adopt policies that promote ICT solutions to our daily problems such as traffic, and the telcos must embrace their role in these initiatives and see it as opportunities,” Rio said in a statement.
He urged telecommunication companies to step up their game and improve internet speed and reliability.
“The ball is now on the telcos’ court to gear up for the possible increase of demand for faster and more reliable internet connection,” he added.
The law mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to establish and maintain a telecommuting pilot program in selected industries for three years.
DOLE will be responsible for baselining, scoping and profiling research work prior to implementation; regular quarterly monitoring; and evaluation.
The agency, together with the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council, will also draw up the implementing guidelines within 60 days from the effectivity of the law. (Ventures Cebu)