For the last several months, we have all been pushed to adapt to a radically changed way of life. Nearly every system we have established – health care, education, and employment, among others – and the processes necessarily entailed by these systems, have been modified in order to ensure that life goes on even amidst our perilous circumstances. Stepping into the “new normal” of things is somewhat also a leap of faith in the sense that we remain uncertain whether we can swiftly shift our gears and travel this new path with ease.
Our health care, education and economic/employment systems are undeniably the most to suffer from the impacts of this corona virus pandemic. Since the implementation of strict policies on community quarantine which restricted movement of people, thousands of workers were forced to work from home, particularly those assigned with desk work. Apart from the challenges of not having been used to such scheme, those who work from home are likewise greatly challenged by factors beyond their control such as the lack of necessary equipment, reduced concentration, and increased expenditures on electric consumption, among others.
Recognizing these emerging challenges of working from home, and highlighting the need to put employees’ welfare at the forefront of our legislation work, I have filed a bill that aims to provide a reasonable reduction on the gross income tax of those who incurred additional expenses on electricity as a result of working from home.. Health experts say that unless vaccine becomes available, the current order of things will remain which means that the present work from home scheme for some industries and companies will continue as a matter of health precaution. Hence, it is only fair and rightful that employees receive tax cuts as employers’ expenses for office utilities are consequently reduced. The reduction in tax of course equates to increased net salary which in turn will enable employees to make both ends meet, so to speak, or manage their finances more efficiently.
In whatever humble way we can, we all ought to contribute to the shared goal of weathering through these difficult times and hopefully heading towards rebuilding our individual lives and the life of the nation very soon. Meantime, the purpose of every work that we do, no matter how grand or small this work maybe, is to create meaningful impacts in the lives of our fellow Filipinos.