Capitol to implement 4-day workweek

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The Iloilo provincial government on Wednesday said it would implement a 4-day work week scheme as oil prices nationwide have remained high.

Provincial administrator Dennis Ventilacion told Aksyon Radyo Iloilo that Governor Arthur Defensor is set to sign an “action program” to implement the said work arrangement.

Under the action program, employees have the option to choose between a Monday to Thursday or a Tuesday to Friday schedule with a 10-hour duration from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., or work on a regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule with a one-day work-from-home arrangement when allowable.

The work-from-home arrangement will be spread throughout the week so as not to burden the offices with issues and concerns that may arise from a reduced workforce.

“The premise [for the 4-day work week] is that the governor has instructed that the capitol should not be closed for one day, so we will [still] be open from Monday to Friday,” Ventilacion explained.

“We will balance [the schedules]. We want to lighten the load of our employees but at the same time, we also don’t want our services in the capitol to be affected, because Fridays are important to us as that is when most salaries are signed off and processed. As administrator that is my busiest day because we sign the payrolls by then,” he added.

Ventilacion said that the province’s workweek scheme combines issuances both by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

He also said that the arrangements were in consideration with how the scheme will affect both employees and frontline service clientele.

“We also took suggestions and recommendations from the [CSC] because there were relevant issuances from [them] and not just the NEDA. We combined them. I understand the NEDA’s recommendation is one-day rest, but we can’t do that because many people who transact with the capitol will be affected,” he said.

He said that there is no definite date yet as to when this will be set, but added that they will suggest to the governor to start as early as March 28.

CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada said on Monday that their agency has been supporting a four-day work week scheme since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, but offices should remain open from Monday to Friday.