Tax incentives used to promote WFH in the Philippines

The move would help alleviate transportation woes for employees

Tax incentives used to promote WFH in the Philippines

Philippine Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has vowed to pursue a legislation introducing tax incentives and deductions in a bid to promote work-from-home (WFH) arrangements.

Under Senate Bill No. 1706, which was co-authored by Gatchalian, employees may be granted a P25.00 ($0.45) reduction from their taxable income for every hour of work that is rendered under the WFH arrangement.

In addition, the bill also seeks to make non-taxable the allowances and other benefits received by employees. Without exceeding P2,000 ($36.6) per month, this covers the benefits necessary for telecommuting, according to the proposal.

For employers, Gatchalian said the bill wants to make them eligible for an additional 50% income tax deduction for allowances granted within the specified ceiling.

Aside from encouraging WFH arrangements, the lawmaker said the proposed legislation also urges employers to give their staff allowances for WFH arrangements, while increasing the take-home pay of employees.

He made the remarks as he encouraged more private businesses to adopt flexible work arrangements, citing the increasing costs of fuel and transportation.

The Philippines has already passed into law the Telecommuting Act, where employers may offer telecommuting programmes on a voluntary basis, and on the agreement between them and their employees.

Read more: Philippines forms task force to inspect compliance on return-to-work orders

Remote work for govt offices

Meanwhile, a resolution allowing flexible work arrangements for government employees recently took effect this month. Following its implementation, lawmakers have also reminded government employees to ensure that the level of service they offer to the public is not compromised.

"Let us make sure that compressed work week, skeleton workforce, work shifts, flexitime or any combination of all these, as provided under the CSC resolution, will not work to the disadvantage of the transacting general public and the Filipino people whom we are mandated to serve and to which we are all accountable," said Senator Bong Revilla in a statement.

Outgoing Senator Grace Poe, on the other hand, called on government agencies to lead the way in implementing beneficial work-from-home arrangement for civil servants.

"As frontliners in the delivery of basic services, our government workers need as much support to deal with the soaring prices of essential goods and the current lack of public transport," she said in a statement.

"We hope that agency heads, in consultation with stakeholders, can sit down and formulate vetted guidelines in order to give our state employees greater flexibility in doing their jobs with the same, if not greater productivity and efficiency."

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