This is the statement of the Philippines’ Deputy Secretary of Labor Benjo Benavidez at a press conference in the residential area of Laging Handa on March 21.
Mr. Benavidez said the 4-day work week model is not new and it was used in the Philippines during the 2008 oil price-related economic crisis and the Gulf War.
The proposal comes as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration official is seeking to cushion the impact of rising oil prices following calls for a minimum wage increase and more support for motorists.
The proposal to work four days a week is the idea of Socio-Economic Planning Minister Karl Kendrick Chua. According to the authorities, workers will work fewer days but the working time of the day will be extended by 2 hours. He proposed to apply this model to the public sector, but encouraged private companies to apply.
“Every Filipino will still work 40 hours a week. But instead of 5 days, they will only do 4 days; instead of 8 hours a day, it will change to 10 hours a day,” Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper quoted Minister Chua on March 15.
Energy Minister Alfonso Cusi said he fully supported the initiative and urged workers to work from home to reduce traffic on the roads. Previously, workers in the capital Manila were asked to return to normal work from March after COVID-19 restrictive measures were eased.
The 4-day-a-week model has been approved for use in the city of Iloilo. City Mayor Jerry Treñas said the policy will be implemented in state units from March 28 to give facilities time to adjust.
“We also mobilize buses to transport civil servants from district-level units to the city hall and vice versa every day. Other measures to save energy are being considered,” Mayor Jerry said.
Motorists in the Philippines continue to be affected after gasoline prices increased for the 11th consecutive week.
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