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GO Negosyo founder Jose Maria “Joey” Concepcion 3rd reiterated his push for more on-site work to further stimulate economic activity in the country.In a statement, Concepcion agreed that the private sector should be given the choice to decide the most suitable work arrangement for specific companies or industries.But he stressed that economic recovery will rely on private sector consumption and spending.

“We need more mobility if we want the economy to grow and for businesses to remain viable so they can generate more employment,” Concepcion said.The jobs committee of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) had recommended maintaining a work arrangement in the information technology business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector wherein 70 percent of the staff reports to the office and 30 percent works from home.

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The council is composed of the chief executives of the country’s leading corporations and gives regular reports to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on private sector developments.Concepcion serves as the council’s lead person on matters relating to jobs and the medium, small and micro enterprises in the country.”I am not against the 70:30 on-site work-from-home arrangement for IT-BPO companies. In fact, I was part of the council that recommended it and am the leader of the Jobs group which presented this suggestion,” he said.”What I am saying is that the recommended work arrangement solution for the IT-BPO sector may not be the best one for all organizations,” he said. “It is the business owners who will be in the best position to decide which work arrangement makes the most sense for them, so it is they, not anyone else, who must be allowed to make the decision.”

The Go Negosyo founder said the IT-BPO sector has unique work setups and deliverables that may need to have all employees render in-person work at all times.
“One solution does not necessarily work for all. There may be those who are open to the idea of a hybrid work-from-home arrangement, or for four-day workweeks, but we can’t have the same solution for everybody,” Concepcion said.”However, employers decide, we must not lose sight of the urgency for our country’s economy to recover from the pandemic, whether this is achieved through increased productivity or mobility,” he said.The government policy on work-from-home arrangements recently figured in discussions over the clamor from IT-BPO companies to keep their tax incentives even with a third of their employees still working remotely.

The matter was resolved after the companies were allowed to transfer their registration from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) investment promotion arm, the Board of Investments.Last April, PEZA-registered businesses were given leeway in choosing their work arrangements until September 12. The period was extended to December 31 for a smoother transition.Concepcion believes the country is entering a “phase of acceptance” of the realities of pandemic and that the public is learning to manage the daily risks involved.

“Doctors advise us on how we should handle Covid, but, in the end, it is us who make the choice,” he said.

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