Malacañang said President Duterte’s decision on the proposed four-day workweek as a reprieve for employees amid increasing fuel prices is expected to come out on Monday, March 21.
“Malalaman po natin ito ngayong darating na Lunes (We will know this coming Monday),” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Thursday, March 17, when asked whether or not the President will approve the recommendation.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Chua earlier recommended to shorten the workweek to four days but with longer hours to help conserve energy and cushion the impact of skyrocketing fuel costs on the economy.
In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB, Andanar said the reduced workdays and the extension of the work from home arrangements are only among the many proposals studied by the government to address the negative effect of the increasing pump prices.
“Lahat naman ito ay pinag-aaralan ng Presidente. Lahat naman ng mga suhestiyon ng mga dalubhasa, mga congressman, mga senador, at iyong mga ekonomista ay pinapakinggan ng ating Presidente at ito po ay ipinapaliwanag doon sa maliit na Cabinet meeting tuwing Monday (These are all being studied by the President. All the suggestions of experts, congressmen, senators, and economists are listened to by our President and discussed in the Cabinet meeting every Monday),” he added,
Andanar, however, bared that the government will likely heed the recommendation of the economic sector as it has the grasp of the current situation.
“Ang mahalaga po ay sinabi naman ni Presidente Duterte kay Secretary Sonny Dominguez after he explained, after the Secretary of Finance gave his recommendation na that is our policy (What’s important is that President Duterte told Secretary Sonny Dominguez after he explained, after the Secretary of Finance gave his recommendation, that that is our policy),” Andanar said.
“Kung ano iyong magiging desisyon ng economic cluster dahil iyon naman ang kanilang forte, ayun ang polisiya ng ating gobyerno (Whatever will be the decision of the economic cluster, because that is their forte, will be the policy of our government),” he added.
Several fuel firms imposed a double-digit price increase last Tuesday, March 15, marking the 11th upward rate adjustment in a row.
Several lawmakers have already urged Duterte to call for a special session of Congress to pass legislation on the proposed suspension of excise taxes on petroleum products.