Government offices to implement four-day workweek amid coronavirus threat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 11) — Government offices will be implementing a four-day workweek starting Wednesday due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In pursuant to Proclamation No. 922 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) adopted a four-day workweek arrangement for government offices.

Section 2 of the resolutions says that “all government agencies and LGUs are hereby enjoined to render full assistance and cooperation and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate response and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the COVID-19 threat.”

These guidelines will cover all government agencies from Constitutional Bodies, to Departments, Bureaus, and Agencies of the National Government, Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) with original charters, Local Government Units (LGUs), and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

According to the resolution by CSC, despite reducing the work days for government officials, their work hours will be increased to 10 hours per day.

“Based on that resolution, the agencies work week will still be five days. We will not prejudice the delivery of public service,” said CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada.

She added that government workers can choose to either go to work from Monday to Thursday, or Tuesday to Friday, so long as they  clock in 40 hours a week.

The agency head will also ensure that workers providing essential services such as health workers, fire responders, frontline service providers, are provided with support mechanisms like health interventions, stress debriefing, and appropriate technologies to minimize face to face contact.

The said alternative work arrangements will be adopted for the duration of the State of Public Health Emergency.

There are now 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, including two deaths.