4-day work week will not solve Metro Manila traffic woes—labor group
MANILA, Philippines—Will a four-day work week solve Manila’s traffic woes?
A progressive labor group does not think so.
The Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) blasted the approved four-day work week schedule in some government agencies in the National Capital Region, saying that the scheme was not well thought-out and will not solve traffic woes in Metro Manila.
Ferdinand Gaite, the national president of Courage, said that it is doubtful if the move will reduce traffic because majority of government workers are commuters and public utility vehicles (PUV’s) will not be lessened in consonance with the four-day work week’s implementation.
“I doubt kung malaki o substantial ang sinasabing effect sa traffic kasi iilan lang naman ang government employees na may kotse, lalo na ‘yung mga maliliit na manggagawa. Kung titingnan, mas marami diyan ang gumagamit ng public utility vehicles. Hindi naman mababawasan ang PUV’s dahil ‘yan ang araw-araw na binabiyahe nila. Ang mababawasan lang diyan ay ‘yung owned vehicles at government vehicles,” Gaite said in an interview Monday over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM.
(I doubt if it will have a substantial effect on the traffic (situation) because only a small number of government employees have their own cars. More government workers take public utility vehicles (PUV’s). This (four-day work week) will not lessen PUV’s. What will be lessened (on the streets) are owned vehicles and government vehicles.)
Gaite added that aside from not solving the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila, the four-day work schedule will lessen the public’s access to government services and will have detrimental effects on the work-life balance of government workers.
Passing the government’s ‘incompetence’
Gaite also said that the implementation of the four-day work week is a manifestation of the government’s incompetence in addressing the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila and passes the burden to the public.
“Pinahihirapan ang mga kawani at mangggagawa sa incompetence ng government para i- address yung problema sa traffic. Lahat pinahihirapan pa lalo,” Gaite added.
(Workers are being burdened by the government’s incompetence in addressing the traffic problem (in Metro Manila).)
COURAGE suggested that to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila, additional shuttle buses should be provided by government agencies for its workers. The construction of living facilities for workers who opt to stay near their workplace is seen by the group as another viable option.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued a resolution last September 8 approving the implementation of the four-day work week in some government agencies in Metro Manila as an initiative to assuage the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila. Under the new scheme, employees will have to work from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
CSC clarified that government agencies should have a one-stop shop for frontline services and a call center facility in order to implement the four-day work week in their offices. Government agencies are also required to “monitor and evaluate their employees’ performance, frequency of absenteeism and tardiness, health and wellness, satisfaction, turnover rate in addition to their agency’s electrical consumption and client satisfaction.”
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