MANLA — Civil Service Chairman Francisco Duque on Tuesday clarified that implementation of four-day workweek in government offices in Metro Manila is voluntary.
“The adoption of the four-day scheme is voluntary, and only government agencies in Metro Manila that meet the pre-requirements may begin implementing the four-day workweek scheme,” Duque said, adding that agencies must submit to the CSC a notice of intent and certification that they have complied with the prerequisites:
In a press briefing, Duque said that four-day workweek in government offices was in response to the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila brought about by major infrastructure projects affecting the commuting public, including government employees.
Duque said that having another one-day off and time re-scheduling would mean lessening stress traffic experience and avoiding other people exiting in their respective work places.
Duque said the scheme wants to enhance the employee engagement, morale and productivity, promote work balance, noting three more days of quality time with their family.
“ If you have a four-day work week you can imagine the implications of that in terms saving spaces for other people, saving spaces for public and private people,” he added.
A CSC resolution was issued on September 8 following a survey by CSC from March to May 2014 to find out the preferable work arrangement of employees in Metro Manila. The majority (1,174) or 71 percent of the total number of respondents or majority of the survey respondents from more than 62 agencies in the National Capital Region and Region IV selected the Four-Day Workweek Scheme as the best option to significantly address the traffic situation in Metro Manila, increase efficiency, productivity and employees engagement.
Likewise, under the guidelines, the government agencies in Metro Manila may opt to the adopt the scheme following coverage and requirements: Agency’s frontline services can be accessed by the public online; agency has one-stop shop; functional call center/PABX telephone system that allows calls to be diverted to the Officers-of-the-Day or alerts the caller that the office is closed on those days.
The Agency has baseline data on the agency’s overall performance, employee absenteeism rate; employee tardiness rate; state of employees’ health and wellness; employee satisfaction level; employee turnover rate; electrical consumption; client satisfaction level/ rating.
For their part, Duque said the CSC will likely implement the four-day workweek scheme in October.
He stated that as of September 30, no government agency has formally submitted a notice of implementation of the scheme.
In his assessment, Duque said many agencies may comply mentioning the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) , Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Pag-IBIG Fund, Social Security System (SSS), National Statistics Office (NSO).
However, those in 24/7 operations such in health, police force, firemen, emergency response team, among others are exempted from the scheme, Duque said.
Under the guidelines, the CSC grants the blanket authority to agencies to meet the pre-requirements and opt to implement the scheme. The scheme will work from Monday to Thursday, or Tuesday to Friday, with fixed hours from 800 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the number of work hours per week remains at 40 hours, shall be implemented by participating agencies in Metro Manila for one year, starting in September 2014.
Agencies that will implement the scheme shall ensure widespread information dissemination on the new work schedule so that transacting public can adjust to the new office hours. The new work schedule shall be posted in front of the office premises and in the agency’s website 15 days before the start of the implementation of the work scheme.
The Agency Head may also decide to suspend or discontinue the implementation of the four-day workweek scheme if problems in the delivery of quality service to clients are encountered,” Duque said.