PRRD to consult Cabinet on 4-day work week

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte said he is open to the imposition of a four-day work week scheme, a solution eyed to ease Metro Manila’s traffic problem.

Duterte, however, said he will have to consult the matter with the members of his Cabinet before making a final decision.

“I have to discuss it with the Cabinet. I have to discuss it with (Labor Secretary) Bello and the rest,” Duterte said in an interview in Davao City on Saturday.

“I am open to… I have not yet decided really. I just want to hear,” Duterte said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said Malacañang would look into the imposition of four-day work week scheme during the holiday season.

“We will evaluate all recommendations coming from any department or agency desiring to recommend,” Panelo said in a text message to Palace reporters.

House Minority Leader Benny Abante Jr. earlier proposed the implementation of four-day work week in anticipation of heavy traffic during the holidays.

Abante’s proposed four-day work week will apply to both private firms and non-frontline government agencies situated along Edsa, the country’s busiest highway.

Among the non-frontline government offices located along Edsa are the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, and the Philippine Overseas Employment and Administration.

The House leader said the proposed work scheme would boost productivity by 40-percent based on the outcome of the technology giant Microsoft’s implementation in one of its subsidiaries in Japan.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. offered an alternative scheme — government employees will work from Mondays to Thursdays, starting from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an hour break time from noon to 1 p.m.

Private employees will work on a Tuesday-to-Friday schedule — starting also from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and with one-hour break time.

He said while employees will have to wake up and travel earlier than usual under his proposal, the rush hour would be eased due to the early time of work.

An average of 405,882 vehicles passes through Edsa daily, as of August 2019, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Earlier, the MMDA proposed to ban single-rider cars and provincial buses on Edsa which have been widely criticized.  Azer Parrocha / PNA –