Major Philippine businesses have expressed support for the return to the workplace of various industries across the country, citing the impact it will have on economic growth moving forward.
In a statement released Monday, local businesses said the return to the workplace would be a “significant step” towards the country’s path to a post-pandemic “normalcy” two years after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“We now look forward to heightened business activity which will benefit the entire nation and spur its return to economic wellness. The path to recovery, we aver, begins with the presence in the business and commercial centers of our country’s workers,” the statement read.
“As employees return to the business centers, it is also hoped that confidence nationwide will improve and help restore industries displaced by the pandemic,” it added.
The statement was signed by Ayala Land Inc. president and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent Dy, Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. national president Noel Toti Cariño, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines president Michael Anthony Guarin.
Signatories include Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III, Management Association of the Philippines president Alfredo Pascual, Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Tan, Philippine Construction Association president Engr. Will Decena.
Also signatories are Philippine Retailers Association president Rosemarie Ong, Philippine Chamber of Commerce president George Barcelon, Resto PH president Eric Tend, Robinsons Land Corp. president and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Go, and SM Prime Holdings Corp. president Jeffrey Lim.
“Fully occupied business districts and commercial centers indeed represent a welcome and collective milestone for the country,” the statement concluded.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier this month backed the return to office of all information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) firms to boost economic recovery.
This Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) earlier denied requests to extend remote-work arrangements beyond March 31, 2022, and workers should return for on-site duties starting April 1, 2022.
Firms in economic zones which fail to comply will not be able to enjoy fiscal incentives such as income tax holidays, along with a 5% tax on gross income earned.
For its part, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said it will appeal the FIRB denial. — RSJ, GMA News