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Tolentino wants mandatory electricity allowance for ‘work from home’ workers

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Administration Senator Francis Tolentino has proposed a mandatory P1,000 electricity allowance for workers amid the new normal work scheme in many private firms due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with radio DZBB, Tolentino said that workers should be given an electricity allowance since the majority of them are currently operating under the “work from home” (WFH) set-up using their own power connections.

Tolentino explained it is expected that the electric bills of these employees who are currently under WFH set-up will definitely soar, considering the extended hours they are consuming to finish their respective task and it only appropriate that their employers should allot portions of their income for the additional electric consumption of their employees.

“Cash po yun na idaragdag at non-taxable po yun. Subalit si employer ay pwedeng i-deduct yun as a business expense,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino believed that employers can handle the proposed additional electricity allowance for their employees considering that supposed workplace have less or no electricity consumption at all since the WFH scheme has been implemented.

“Kakayanin kasi di lang naman ganun ang nauubos nya sa electric bills nya. Di ba may opisina siya, diyan… hindi lang naman siguro P1,000 persos ang bayad. At yun naman ay deductible bilang business expense na mababawas sa buwis na babayaran ng kumpanya,” said Tolentino.

“Ang end result nito, ang empleyado may karagdagang pera sa bulsa na gagamitin din sa ekonomiya at makakadagdag din sa pagbayad ng kaniyang kuryente kesa naman maputulan siya ng kuryente. Pag naputulan siya ng kuryente, wala siyang output na irereport sa kumpanya, nalugi din ang kumpanya, walang nagrereport, walang productivity. Lahat ito makikinabang,” he added.

Aside from WFH, Tolentino stressed that electric bills of power consumers are expected to balloon due to the alternative learning program which will be used by both basic and tertiary education students for the upcoming opening of school year since “face to face” classes are still not advisable due to the rising number of coronavirus infections in the country.

“Mangyayari nito tataas din talaga kasi yung blended learning ng DepEd, magko-computer na yung mga bata, lahat ng estudyante gagawa ng homework,” said Tolentino.

“Mas tatamaan daw si teacher, although si teacher bibigyan ng load allowance eh yung kuryenteng gagamitin nya, nandun na lang siya sa bahay, nakatipid yung school ng kuryente,” he added.

Tolentino said he will file a measure in relation with his proposal anytime this week since he already secured the support of Senate committee on energy chair Sherwin Gatchalian.

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