We deserve better than dealing with the current Metro Manila traffic.
Queuing for hours for public transport, only to be stuck in traffic for hours on the road is a regular occurrence for Metro Manila commuters—on a good day. From “Monday Mayhem” to “Carmageddon Friday” woes, the majority of Filipino office-goers, those who haven’t taken the remote staff or work from the home route, spend a ridiculous amount of time in transit; time which could have been otherwise spent on other productive activities.
This is why Republic Act 11165 or “An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector” comes as good news for Filipino commuters. Recently signed into law by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, this measure allows for flexible work arrangements for employees in the private sector—enabling them to work from home, or from an alternative workplace—through the use of telecommunication and/or other computer technologies.
By enacting this law, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would be creating guidelines that would assure the fair treatment of staff by companies interested to hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines. The law’s scope of the provision includes the rate of pay (overtime and night differential), right to rest periods (regular holidays and special non-working ones), and equal workload and performance as those of regular office-based employees. Virtual staff would also“have the same access to training and career development opportunities as those of comparable workers at the employer’s premises, and be subject to the same appraisal policies covering these workers.”
While there have been companies, such as Remote Staff, who already practice work from home arrangements for their staff and contractors, there has been no specific law about staff outsourcing in the Philippines before. With the Telecommuting Law, there would now be a legal framework to provide and enable the working landscape for remote staffing solutions.
With this new law, more Filipino people will now have the opportunity to grow their careers within the comforts of their home—and for Metro Manila employees, this also spells a break from dealing with our current dismal day-to-day traffic.