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4-day workweek to cut fuel use, spare workers from traffic │ GMA News Online


Senate labor, employment, and human resource chairman Joel Villanueva on Wednesday supported the idea of four-day work week proposed by the National Economic Development Authority as oil prices continue to soar.

“Implementing flexible working arrangements like working from home is one of the best interventions that the government can do because it protects productivity for businesses and workers’ welfare while cutting fuel consumption,” the senator said in a statement.

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He also revived his call for the Department of Labor and Employment to work with the business sector to fully implement the Work From Home Law which was enacted in 2018z

“The Telecommuting or Work From Home Law has been relevant even before the pandemic started, as skyrocketing fuel prices is one of the main reasons why we pushed for this to become a law. We have yet to see the end to the problems of traffic and high price of fuel, and WFH is one way for industries to adjust and cope,” he said.

In the 18th Congress, Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 153 which allows businesses to implement alternative work arrangements, such as a reduction of workdays.

Under the proposed amendment to the Labor Code, Villanueva said businesses can implement alternative work arrangements as long as total work hours per week shall not exceed 48 hours, and follow rules governing overtime pay, night shift differential, and other related benefits.

Other alternative work arrangements include a compressed workweek, rotation of workers within the workweek, flexible holiday schedules, and flexible time.

Villanueva vowed the passage of this law in the  next Congress should he be reelected in the Senate.

“Businesses and workers are already familiar with alternative work arrangements by this time. It is our job to empower them into contributing to the national economy without the burden of fuel prices and the daily commute. This also gives our workers the opportunity to spend their wages on needs other than transportation costs,” he said.

“This way, we balance the need for businesses to continue growing despite the oil crisis, and we help with the work-life balance for our workers,” the senator added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson also supported NEDA’s latest proposal.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua on Tuesday suggested for the government to impose a four-day work week to conserve energy and alleviate the public’s expenses amid the series of bigtime oil price hikes.

He said the country should exercise energy conservation by limiting the mobility of workers into four days with increased hours of duty per day.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi supported Chua’s proposal, saying they are also pushing for energy efficiency and conservation.—LDF, GMA News

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