Tolentino pushes for P1,000-monthly non-taxable allowance for at-home workers

Senator Francis Tolentino has sought a P1,000 non-taxable allowance a month for government and private sector workers who work from home.

In an unnumbered bill filed this week, Tolentino said his measure seeks to expand the coverage of the Telecommuting Act and provide incentives for telecommuting employees, amending for the purpose Republic Act (RA) 11165, known as the Telecommuting Act.

The particular law has become more relevant than ever amid the persisting Covid-19 pandemic, he explained.

Tolentino said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Filipinos to embrace the concepts of telecommuting and working from home.

Employers, multi-national corporations and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have since embraced a hybrid work set-up and work from home methods, he pointed out.

‘’Electricity bills, particularly in Metro Manila, multiplied four-fold since the start of Covid-19 pandemic and implementation of quarantine protocols in March 2020,’’ the explanatory note of the bill stated.

The Tolentino measure seeks to amend RA 11165 by expanding its coverage to include public or government sector.

It also requires employers to provide their telecommuting employees with P1,000 non-taxable allowance per month to answer for additional cost of utilities for telecommuting.