Senator Joel Villanueva, Chairman of Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development, is set to conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, January 25, at 1pm, to tackle Senate Bill No. 1033 or The Telecommuting Act which seeks to promote work from home and address various issues including traffic congestion and its tremendous effect on the country’s economy.
“We want to push for our Filipino workers to have a meaningful work-life balance by encouraging employers to explore telecommuting as a way of allowing work flexibility," Villanueva said.
"Gusto nating bigyan ng importansya ang oras sa pamilya na nababawasan dahil na rin kailangang pumunta sa trabaho ng ating mga manggagawa. Kung tutuusin, dahil sa traffic, yung oras sana na ay pwede nilang gamitin upang makapagpahinga o makasama ang pamilya ay nawawala,” Villanueva added.
Research shows that work flexibility increases productivity of workers and employees are healthier and less stressed.
The senator further cited statistics which prove that the enormous traffic, especially in Metro Manila, has caused inconvenience to more than a million daily commuters and drastic loss to our economy.
Based on a study by the National Center for Transportation Studies, the heavy traffic in Metro Manila is said to have cost the country 137.5 billion pesos in 2011.
Another study conducted by the Japan International Coordination Agency (JICA) foresees the traffic costs in Manila to increase to 6 billion pesos a day by 2030 from 2.4 billion pesos per day in 2015.
Urban planner and architect Jun Palafox also said in the past that Metro Manila employees waste an average of 1,000 hours a year being struck in traffic.
“Para po sa ikabubuti ng manggagawang Pilipino ang panukalang ito. Mas magkakaroon sila ng mahabang oras para sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Makatutulong din ito sa lumalalang estado ng trapik sa ating bansa dahil hindi na kinakailangan pang pumunta sa opisina ang mga manggagawa, maari na nilang gawin ang kanilang trabaho sa kani-kanilang tahanan sa tulong na rin ng makabagong teknolohiya,” Villanueva stressed.
Aside from the said measure, the labor committee will also discuss the possibility of creating the Department of Migration and Development filed by Senator Cynthia Villar. The bill targets to create a sole agency that will address the concerns of our overseas workers by providing speedy support and assistance to OFWs and their dependents.
Among the salient features being pushed in the measure is the provision of P1 billion Special Assistance Fund, the creation of one-stop center, and the assignment of Department Arbiter positions that will have jurisdiction to hear and decide money claims of Filipino migrant workers