Employer Protest Against Philippines ‘Right To Disconnect’ Bill



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The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is opposing the House Bill (HB) 9735, proposed right to disconnect law in the country, citing worries about the potential effects of the bill on foreign investment and workplace relations.

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The COP’s president, Sergo Ortiz-Luis Jr., had serious concerns about the law, claiming that it would needlessly exacerbate tensions between companies and workers. He thinks it’s important to maintain the current “partnership kind of relationship” in which workers value being informed.

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By amending the Labour Code, HB 9735 seeks to give workers the freedom to stop communicating about their jobs after hours. Although the measure permits companies to establish exemption circumstances in accordance with Department of Labour and Employment standards, Ortiz-Luis worries that it may upset the current equilibrium.

“A lot of outdated legislation ought to be repealed. There’s no reason for us to keep expanding them. It simply exacerbates the conflict between the employer and employee,” the man stated.

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Ortiz-Luis also expressed worries about possible drawbacks for foreign direct investments (FDI). By using the example of US investors perhaps breaking the law by calling staff in the Philippines when they were off-duty, he brought attention to the difficulty faced by international organisations that operate across time zones.

“Investors will just go to Vietnam or Thailand where the labour laws are friendly. We already have enough problems so let’s not add to them,” he said, reported Philstar.

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