Albay Rep. Joey Salceda believes there is an “acceptable compromise” between tax authorities and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms amid the order of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) for BPOs to return to onsite work by April.
Salceda says he is setting up talks between the BPO firms and the tax authorities on the matter.
“I think the compromise is, okay, onsite work is back, but arrangements can be made for those who went home to the provinces, are immunocompromised, or have special conditions that prevent them from working on-site,” he said.
The Bicolano solon noted that Work From Home setup has made the BPO sector more inclusive, especially for parents with young children and those who care for loved ones at home.
“So, I want unified guidelines from the FIRB, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority about what arrangements can be made,” Salceda added.
Salceda also stressed that “some BPO firms may be saving a lot of money from not having to rent spaces or pay utilities. And that could be skewing the cost-benefit analysis for tax incentives, meaning we are getting less economic activities for the same tax perks.”
Previous government guidelines allowed BPOs to avail of tax perks even with 90% of their workforce working from home.
Salceda also plans to convene the FIRB, PEZA, DOLE, and BPO firms “this month to get people together and come up with a mutually acceptable compromise.”