Duterte signs work from home, higher pension for war veterans bills into law
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law measures allowing employees to work from home and increasing the monthly old-age pension of war veterans.
The president signed Republic Act 11165 or the Telecommuting Act and Republic Act 11164, which increased the pension of war veterans, last December 20.
The Telecommuting Act allows an employee in the private sector to work from home or an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication or computer technologies. The law aims to address traffic congestion and to promote work-life balance.
An employer may offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis. The adoption of such scheme remains a prerogative of employers but the program should not be less than the minimum labor standards set by law on health and safety of workers, schedule and workloads, work hours and social security. An employer is required to ensure that a telecommuting employee will not be isolated from the rest of the working community by giving him opportunities to meet with colleagues and allowing access to company information.
The Labor department is expected to craft guidelines that will ensure the “fair treatment” of telecommuting employees. The employer is required to ensure the protection of data used and processed by the telecommuting employee for professional purposes.
The law also provides for the establishment of a telecommuting pilot program in select industries for a period of not more than three years to enable the labor department to determine the advantages and disadvantages of a telecommuting program in the Philippines.
Republic Act No. 11164, meanwhile, increases the old-age pension of senior veterans to P20,000 from P5,000 per month. Senior veterans are those who fought during World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars.
The pension is not transferable to any family member or dependent of the veteran.
Duterte also signed Republic Act No. 11163 declaring the last Monday of January every year as a special working holiday in observance of the National Bible Day.