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Philippines Passes Telecommuting Act

The Philippines’ government has passed new legislation aimed at facilitating telecommuting, and the Department of ICT (DICT) is urging operators to ensure workers have access to reliable internet connections.

The new Telecommuting Act institutionalizes telecommuting as an alternate work arrangement for private sector employees.

It states that private sector employers may offer telecommuting programs to employers on a “voluntary basis,” and obliges employers to provide written information about the terms and conditions of such a program.

In addition, the new Act stipulates that these terms and conditions must abide by labor laws, such as mandatory overtime, rest days and entitlement to leave benefits.

The new law is aimed in part at easing traffic congestion in metropolitan areas, according to DICT acting secretary Eliseo M Rio.

“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,” he said.

“The ball is now on the telcos’ court to gear up for the possible increase of demand for faster and more reliable internet connection… the government is upping the ante when it comes to investing on ICT projects, but if we wish for impact to be felt by the people sooner, we expect the telcos to do the same.”―Telecom Asia

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