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On June 20, 2018, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) organized a stakeholders forum on “Off-site Work Arrangement: Concepts and Practices” held at the Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila.

“Home workers have long been recognized by the Departmenf ot Labor and Employment through its policies. In 1992, Department Order No. 5 was issued governing the employment of industrial homeworkers. Yet we acknowledge that with significant changes in the world of work, specially with technological advances, there is a need to have a deeper understanding of the relevant issues related to working from home in order to aid policymakers, Consultative undertakings such as this one are important for us to know the valuable perspectives from our stakeholders to better enrich policy discussion,” emphasized Assistant Secretary Maria Gloria M. Tango, Chairperson of DOLE-TWG on Emerging Work and Employment Arrangements of “Work-from-Home” Workers.

Ms. Leian Marasigan, Extension Specialist, UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UPSOLAIR), gave a general overview of the prevalence and growth of different forms of non-standard work arrangement, the reason for its use, and its effects on workers, firms and the labor market.

Ms. Acie Arroyo-Cruz, Director for Human Resource, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), explained that with technological advancements, employers may find the work from home (i.e. telecommuting) arrangement appealing because it increases productivity of employees and efficient use of office space.

Ms. Emadee Joy Pangaliman, Vice President for Internals, BPO Industry Employees’ Network (BIEN), discussed the workers’ perspectives on flexible work arrangement particularly on teleworking and telecommuting, including its benefits and challenges. She mentioned that there are local companies offering jobs involving off-site work arrangements such as virtual assistants, transcribers, content writers, social media managers, English tutors, customer service, web designers/developers and voice talents.

Mr. Jesse Francis Rebustillo, of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), highlighted the role of human resource practitioners in implementing a flexible work arrangement policy such as teleworking or telecommuting. Mr. Rebustillo said that it is also important to carefully study the renumeration for people who are working from home and those who are reporting to the office.

In her closing remarks, ILS Executive Director Ahmma Lobrin-Satumba thanked all the participants for the insightful discussions that are invaluable to the off-site work arrangement research being undertaken by the Institute.

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