Solon wants 4-day work week for gov’t offices nationwide to save energy
MANILA Philippines—A lawmaker wants to have a four-day work week for government offices not just in Metro Manila, but for the whole country, in a bid to save energy in light of the looming power shortage in 2015.
In a statement on Wednesday, Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles, chair of the House labor committee, said the shorter work week would result in billions of pesos worth of savings in energy consumption.
He said the shorter work week should be prioritized in Mindanao, which is usually hit by rotating brownouts during the summer as it is heavily reliant on hydropower.
“(The four-day work week option) should also be provided to government offices outside of Metro Manila, especially in Mindanao where there is a serious energy problem…. We will reduce our overall energy demand, save billions in electric bills and we will be saving the planet by reducing our carbon emission,” he said.
Nograles said a small government office with air-conditioning units, lights, computers and other equipment can save as much as P15,000 in electric bills per month if the work week is less by a day, Nograles said.
The solon, however, said that offices with emergency functions or those involved in day-to-day delivery of services should be exempted from the four-day work week scheme.
Such government workers like teachers, licensing and permits personnel, police personnel and firemen should keep up with their original work week with proper compensation, Nograles said.
Last September, the Civil Service Commission issued a resolution allowing government offices in Metro Manila to employ a four-day work week to improve the traffic situation in the metro.
Office work days under the new scheme may be from Tuesday to Friday or from Monday to Thursday. But office hours will be extended to 11 hours, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. including a lunch hour break, to meet the required 40-hour work week.
President Benigno Aquino III had asked Congress to grant him emergency powers so he could contract additional capacity to address the expected power shortage during the summer in 2015. But the House leadership wanted to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation first on the need for additional authority.
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