Despite all the bad news, Philippines remains resilient in fine-tuning and recalibrating the economy for faster recovery from the pandemic through unified efforts between the Philippine government and the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
See Philippines’ current and next steps:
- Campaigns For Building Consumer Confidence for Retail Outlets and Private and Government Agencies
While delivery services are the preferred option, the need to promote cautious and scheduled visits to stores and government/private offices is a must for more accurate and faster purchases and availment of services. There are also instances where physical presence is required especially national ID application and bank signatures for releasing money. In order to enhance security measures in these establishments, through campaigns such as the “Taskforce T3” which aims to accelerate testing, tracing and treatment of COVID-19 cases, and teach and transform consumer mindsets to build consumer confidence and re-start the economy. The campaigns target middle class Filipino consumers and present step-by-step guidelines pertaining to social distancing and proper hygiene in a form of print/electronic ads in banks, gas stations, stores, transport services and even online in partner websites.
- Creating Job Opportunities For Returning Overseas Filipinos
The Department of Labor and INdustry (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and IBPAP recently signed a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) to consolidate job opportunities for returning overseas Filipinos. Firstly, returning overseas Filipinos can register to OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) in the OWWA website to get help in repatriation and avail of the 20K cash assistance. Secondly, OFWs can find jobs online through government job portals such as sikap.ph. Job fair announcements are also available on the DOLE website. BPO companies are currently seeking 30,000 job opportunities for repatriated Filipinos.
- Implementing the Corporate Recovery And Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) Act
To ease business constraints during the pandemic, the CREATE Act was implemented. This reduced Corporate Income Tax by 25% on July 1, 2020 and will continue reduction to 20% by January 1, 2027.Other benefits of the CREATE Act include:
• Grandfathering of incentives for existing locators or grant them a 5-year deferment before the sunset provision kicks in.
• Include explicit language in the bill on the re-application eligibility once the sunset period complete.
• Allow Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to have jurisdiction over very large investments (for example, $1B and up) while IPAs can continue to cover anything below that threshold.
• Keep the one-stop-shop nature of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
- Complying to Workplace Disease Management Requirements
DOLE has also partnered with DTI in setting workplace protocols for every business to combat against COVID-19. For complete info, visit https://www.dole.gov.ph/covid-19-mitigating-measures/.
- Providing Mental Health Services
Mental health service providers were also given to support workers’ mental and emotional wellbeing. Visit the IBPAP site for a list of accredited mental health providers.
- Supporting Human Resources- HIV/AIDS Virtual Summit
The HR-HIV/AIDS Virtual Summit in partnership with GICC-HIMAP-Project Red Ribbon was also initiated last September to educate human resources workers on preventing and managing HIV in the workplace. Resource speakers from the Department of Health, UNAIDS, Philippine National AIDS Council and DOLE stepped up to share their knowledge and strategies in safeguarding against the spread of HIV.