Following the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon, including Metro Manila, the Philippine Government has ordered all Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies to settle their Work from Home arrangements until 11:59 PM on Sunday.
This serves as a one-week extension since the government has earlier set the deadline on March 20.
It was March 18 when the government released a memorandum that stated that “all BPO workers would be allowed to travel to bring home their equipment so they could work from their residences.”
The memorandum also covers other export-oriented companies. They are instructed to set up temporary lodging, shuttle arrangements and other alternative work policies for their employees.
It stated, “…personnel of BPOs and export-oriented establishments setting up the foregoing arrangements shall be allowed to travel, subject to presentation of proof of employment, address of employer and residence…”
This came after thousands of BPO employees in the affected areas were not able to report for work last week as all forms of public transportation were suspended while those with their own vehicles were stopped at checkpoints.
BPO is a subset of outsourcing that involves contracting of non-primary business operations and functions to a third-party service provider. Its functions can be divided into two categories: the first is the front-office customer service which entails technical support; and the other one is the back-office business function such as billing. Other services in the BPO include payroll, human resources (HR) and accounting.
According to reports, around 1.1 million of Filipinos are employed in BPO companies, making the industry the second major source of dollars for the Philippines next to remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
The Philippines now has a total of 380 confirmed cases of the of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), with 25 deaths as of Sunday.
It is now under a state of calamity, prompting all local government units to utilize their Quick Response Funds in order to take necessary measures and purchase necessities to combat the coronavirus as well as to assist frontline workers with medical supplies and equipment.