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DICT pushes for telecommuting in gov’t offices

By: Miguel R. Camus - Philippine Daily Inquirer | March 20,2020 - 07:31 AM

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) wants alternative work arrangements for government employees amid moves to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DICT is proposing that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) adopt the telecommu­ting guidelines under Republic Act No. 11165, otherwise known as the Telecommuting Act.

The law, signed by President Duterte in 2018, defines telecommuting as an arrangement that allows a public sector employee to “work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunications and/or computer technologies.”

The DICT noted that the proposal to the CSC was made via its mandate to formulate, recommend and implement national policies, plans, prog­rams and guidelines that would promote the development and use of ICT.

This was with due consi­deration to the advantages of emerging technologies. Moreover, it is mandated to assist and provide technical expertise to government agencies in the development of guidelines in the enforcement and administration of laws, standards, rules, and regulations governing ICT.The DICT said the propo­sal to adopt telecommunication guidelines was consistent with CSC Announcement No. 12, s.2020, which provided for work from home arrangement in light of the enhanced community quarantine over the entire Luzon from March 17 through April 13 this year.

“If adopted by government agencies, telecommuting will complement the alternative arrangements already defined in the CSC Announcement No. 12, Series of 2020,” the DICT said.Heads of agencies are still given the discretion to formulate and implement alternative work arrangements, the DICT added.

“They are also afforded sufficient leeway and flexibility in determining the telecommuting arrangements appropriate for their needs, with the necessary precautions and cybersecurity measures,” the DICT said.

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