The past couple of weeks have been jarring for motorists and commuters, to say the least. First, it was SLEX carmageddon that made headlines. Following that, the MRT-3, LRT-1, and LRT-2 lines experienced mishaps in the same week-the LRT-2 incident being the biggest.

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As traffic continues to worsen and mass transport systems remain subpar, we have to look for more viable alternatives to mitigate the consequences of the current crises. This is what Senator Joel Villanueva emphasized in his recent statement, saying that working from home could be a possible solution to maintaining employee productivity amid the traffic and transport problems.

The legislator stresses that recent events should at least bring about discussions among labor regulators and employers regarding the implementation of telecommuting. "We want to create more options for our employees to fulfill their duties while minimizing the need to go out of their homes and travel to their places of work. Given our worsening traffic situation which is compounded by the partial shut down of the LRT-2, it's really high time for employers to consider the benefits of telecommuting.

"Hindi po tama na kalbaryo araw araw ang turing ng mga manggagawang bumabiyahe para magtrabaho at buhayin ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Ipinapatupad na po ang Telecommuting Law at kasalukuyang nagsasagawa ng pag-aaral ang DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) sa mga trabahong maaaring ilagay sa isang telecommuting arrangement," Villanueva added. "Para po sa kapakanan ng ating mga manggagawa, hinihikayat natin ang DOLE na itaas pa ang kaalaman tungkol sa batas na ito."

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Republic Act No. 11165, also known as the Telecommuting Law, encourages employers in the private sector to provide arrangements to allow its employees to work remotely outside the confines of the company's designated office. Those who choose to do so are provided protection under the law-granted, of course, that these workers reach an agreement with their employers-to ensure they receive the same compensation and benefits as those who decide otherwise.

As we draw closer to the holidays, do you think telecommuting will be beneficial to you as part of Metro Manila's workforce?

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