Palace awaits recommendation on 4-day work week

Published November 14, 2019, 1:55 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos 

Malacañang said it will wait for the recommendation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other agencies before making a stand on the proposal to decrease the work week to just four days in a bid to ease the traffic problem in Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

House Minority Leader Benny Abante Jr. earlier proposed that non-frontline government agencies along EDSA should implement a four-day work week during the holiday season to help ease traffic congestion.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that they will wait for the MMDA to finish their study on the said proposal before making a stand on the issue.

“Pag-aaralan yun ng MMDA. MMDA ang nag-aaral nun, eh. Kung ano ang rekomendasyon nila. Wala pa (The MMDA is the one studying it. So we will go with their recommendation). They’re still under study,” he said.

In a text message, Panelo enjoined all other concerned agencies to also make their recommendations as well.

“We will evaluate all recommendations coming from any department or agency desiring to recommend,” he said.

In a press conference, Abante appealed to the Palace to study his proposal, saying even tech giant Microsoft experimented with a four-day work week in one of its subsidiaries in Japan, and they discovered that this led to a 40 percent boost in productivity.

“It worked there, it could work here,” he said.

The House Committee on Labor and Employment tackled two bills providing for a flexible working arrangement and compressed workweek. House Bill 1670 removes the limiting “normal work hours” of eight hours per day as long as employees would complete the required 48 hours of work per week.

House Bill 1904, on the other hand, aims for a compressed work arrangement by reducing the normal work week to less than six days but retains the total 48 hours of work per week.