CSC suggests four-day work week in government

Published March 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellson Quismorio

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has released rules for “alternative work arrangements”–including a shortened work week–that government offices may observe in connection with the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) menace.


The guidelines were listed under CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 07, s.2020, signed by Chairperson Alicia de la Rosa-Bala. The Manila Bulletin acquired a copy of the document Wednesday night.

“Pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 2000481 promulgated March 11, 2020, the Commission resolved to adopt the following Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government for the Duration of the State of Public Health Emergency Pursuant to Proclamation No. 922,” the memo read.

Such alternative work arrangements are the four-day work week and employee shifting, the CSC said in the directive.

Under a four-day work week, the individual’s workweek is reduced to four days but the number of work hours per day is increased to 10 hours. This means that the total number of required work hours per week shall not be less than 40 hours.

Meanwhile, under shifting, the agencies shall strategize that the shifting of employees shall still meet the required 40 hours per week. For this purpose, shifting refers to the existing 24/7 shifting schedule, and shifting of assignment to perform frontline services.

Speaking of frontline service providers like health providers and first responders, the memo instructs agency heads to ensure that they are provided with support mechanisms such as the following: 1.) health interventions, 2.) stress debriefing, and 3. appropriate technologies to minimize face to face contact.

All government agencies, namely constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus, and agencies of the national government, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCC) with original charters, local government units (LGUs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs) are covered by the CSC memo.

“Agencies may formulate their internal rules and regulations governing the implementation of the alternative work arrangements in accordance with guidelines, which shall be submitted to the [CSC] through the CSC Regional Offices for records purposes,” it read.

“Agencies shall adopt a monitoring mechanism during the implementation of the alternative work arrangements to ensure that public service delivery is not prejudiced,” the memo added.

Either or both the four-day work week and shifting may be adopted by government offices, the Commission said.

The CSC earlier suspended the conduct of the March 15, 2020 Career Service Examination-Pen and Paper Test (CSE-PPT).

This was in compliance with Proclamation No. 922 signed by President Duterte declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines and calling for the implementation of urgent, critical measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.