Davao del Sur governor orders 4-day workweek amid COVID-19 risks
DIGOS CITY — Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas has ordered a four-day work-week in the province to protect its employees and the public against the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.
Cagas issued Executive Order No. 21 on Friday adopting alternative work hours for government employees, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation of the entire country under a state of public health emergency because of the potentially fatal respiratory disease.
The governor said the alternative work arrangement adopted for workers of the Davao del Sur provincial government would limit the employees’ travel time and exposure to the public without sacrificing the delivery of public services.
Although the new work arrangement reduces the employee’s workweek to four days, it increases the number of work hours of employees to 10 hours per day.
Employees will follow two shifting schedules: the first of which will run from Mondays to Thursdays while the other from Tuesdays to Fridays.
Cagas said the province would implement the four-day work-week throughout the entire duration of the state of public health emergency in the country due to COVID-19.
He ordered the heads of offices to ensure a normal workweek despite the alternative work arrangement.
Approved schedules of the four-day workweek scheme would be submitted by the department heads to the human resource department, which in turn would submit it to the governor’s office before March 17.
Cagas said the guidelines would cover all employees, contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) personnel of the provincial government of Davao del Sur except those providing health services and services dealing with preparedness and response to imminent disasters and calamities and performance.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hube province in late 2019.
People who have COVID-19 could recover since for most people, its symptoms were mild like fever and cough. But the illness could also be worse or serious for others such as pneumonia, especially for older adults and those with existing health problems.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic as it has infected more than 150,000 people and killed over 5,000 all over the world. The Philippines has so far confirmed 140 people with COVID-19, including 11 deaths.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country and placed the entire Metro Manila under “community quarantine” from March 15 to April 14, 2020, due to COVID-19.
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