It is up to the lawmakers and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to review the proposal for a four-day workweek as a way to mitigate traffic jams, the Palace said Thursday.
This came after House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. on Wednesday revived the appeal for the implementation of a shortened workweek.
“We will wait for their recommendation,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
House Bills 1670 and 1904 propose an optional scheme to shorten work days as long as employees meet the prescribed hours within the week.
Filed by Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte and Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, the proposed measures were pending at the labor and employment committee.
Labor groups have expressed concern over the proposal, saying workers will work overtime within four days that might have a negative impact on their health and salary.
The House committee has formed a technical working group to study the bills and come up with a proposal acceptable to both employer and labor groups.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Telecommuting Act, which allows employees in the private sector to work from home.
The law does not require employers to establish telecommuting arrangements that would be offered to employees “on a voluntary basis.”
Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said the proposal will help address the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila and adjacent cities.
“The four-day work plan will give employees a three-day rest, giving them more quality time with their families and friends,” Barzaga said.
Under existing laws, Barzaga said government employees are required to work for 40 hours a week, even as he proposed that government employees 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.
“Studies show that a compressed workweek is highly correlated with productivity. In fact, employees working in the said scheme showed improvements in job satisfaction, teamwork, work, and life balance and company loyalty. Employees also experienced less stress and higher levels of happiness,” Barzaga said.
READ: Salceda’s study pushes proposed 35-hour work week