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Philippine call centers win battle to make remote work permanent

Government says BPO companies can keep tax perks without on-site workers

The Philippines' call-center workers have grown accustomed to working from home, a preference that had put their employers' financial incentives at risk. (Photo by Yumi Kotani)

MANILA -- The Philippines' call centers and other business process outsourcing companies can keep their tax incentives and allow their employees to work from home, the country's finance secretary has said, settling an issue that had been hanging over the economically important industry.

The nearly $30 billion industry has been lobbying for a permanent work-at-home setup, which was implemented during COVID-19 lockdowns and is now preferred by most of the sector's 1.4 million employees. But an investment regime under which many of the BPO companies operate requires them to have workers on site to enjoy fiscal perks.

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