Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day care centers in workplaces for tax incentives and as non-wage benefit for employees

In a news release dated May 19, 2008, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) “called on companies and corporations to put up day care or child care centers in their workplaces to form part of non-wage benefits for workers and their families.” Excerpts of the news release are posted below:

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the setting up and operations of day care centers in workplaces is part of the DOLE's efforts to promote non-wage benefits and help workers cope with pressures brought about by oil price hikes and the consequent rise in prices of goods and services.

Roque said the DOLE Regional Offices, under the family welfare program (FWP), will intensify their campaign for the establishment of day care centers especially in companies with more women workers to help them lessen the expense of early childhood education and ensure the children's safety and health.

He said that putting up childcare facilities benefits employers in terms of sustained efficiency and productivity of workers who would no longer be saddled by family and economic pressures in looking after the welfare and safety of their young children while they are at work.

He added that employers also gain tax incentives under Republic Act 8980 or “An Act Promulgating a Comprehensive Policy and a National System for Early Child Care and Development, Providing Funds Therefore and For Other Purposes,” which provides that the operating costs of employer or corporate-based day care centers can be deducted from taxable income provided the employer or corporation will not charge user fees.

Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo instructed the DOLE and the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) to assist companies especially those with many women workers in the setting up of day care facilities following her visit to several firms last month. Roque said the President had asked the employers of the firms she visited to put up day care facilities for their women workers.

Roque said employers have options in setting up childcare facilities. They may put up day care facilities at the plant level, link up with community-based day care centers, or establish a common facility for the needed services for their workers. He said the day care center at the Bataan Export Processing Zone, for instance, would be servicing workers of companies in the area. He said the Bataan Tripartite Industrial Peace Council would sponsor the setting up and operation of the center, noting the latter is a product of tripartite cooperation that benefits both labor and management.

(emphasis by boldfacing supplied)

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