Solon pushes four-day work week in December amid holiday rush

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13)— A House leader called on public and private companies to consider a four-day work week in December to help ease traffic congestion during the Christmas season.

“If the work of your industry is output-oriented, then by all means consider having your employees work from home,” Minority Leader Bienvenido “Benny” Abante said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

“I suggest that the Palace consider the feasibility of doing this during the holiday season,” he added.

The Manila lawmaker said the proposal can serve as a “trial period” for companies to assess if the scheme can work in the long run.

A couple of bills to compress the five-day work week have been filed in the House..

House Bills 1670 and 1904 propose to shorten work days as long as employees meet the prescribed hours within the week. The scheme, however, is optional.

The bills filed by Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte and Baguio City Rep. Mark Go are pending at the labor and employment committee.

The Labor Department, meanwhile, said it supports the optional adoption of the compressed work week, but sees no need for a law to be passed.

“It must be on a temporary nature… this is only to address certain circumstances and this must not also cover industries and sectors such as in the construction, in the health sector because there are standards we might offend,” Labor Assistant Secretary Benjo Benavidez said.

Labor groups have expressed concern over the proposal, saying workers will be at the losing end f they work overtime within four days.

The House committee has tasked a technical working group to study the bills and come up with a proposal acceptable to employer and labor groups.

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