The working class of 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. know the everyday struggle of being in a workplace five (5) times a week, eight (8) hours a day. This has been the standard for most workers in both government and private sectors because as per the Philippine Labor Law:
Normal hours of an employee’s work shall not exceed at least eight (8) hours a day. Employees made to work for more than 40 hours in a week (5 days) shall be entitled to a 30% additional pay.”
Some private companies, however, have different types of offers when it comes to employment. As such, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Company or more commonly known as call centers, offer a slightly different labor plan. Some call centers allow operational employees to work four (4) days a week, but eleven (11) hours per day, including a one (1) hour lunch break.
Flexible schedules for Filipino workers
Last Monday, the 20th of May 2019, there were some voting done by the Senate on a bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva. This bill tackles the rendering hours of an employee for his or her company.
Furthermore, this was part of the measures which was talked about by the chamber on the first session day after the final decision in the National Elections.
The voting was at 17-0, where most approved that employees can have the option of not rendering eight (8) hours of work for five (5) days in one whole week. Instead, a company in the private sector can concoct a somewhat voluntary work arrangement with their employees.
Four-day work week
In this case, one of the most effective ways in lessening an employees visit to the office would be by increasing the number of hours in the office. Like the example given above, the law endorses that workers can have the option to attend work for longer periods of time but for fewer number of days.
The condition? Well, it’s still the same and as per the Labor Code of the Philippines—where a certain employee must meet the required 40 hours of work per week. So, if we will be dividing it, an employee can choose to work for ten (10) hours per day and can complete it for a maximum of four (4) days.
Proposals of the 48-hour work per week
In the same provision, it ratifies the idea of having a 48-hour labor time in a single week. This, of course, would still have the same benefits, privileges, and incentives in effect even if the new number of hours of labor in a week changes.
The original bill of Senator Villanueva explains that this specific change is revolutionary and can be the key to a better and to a more efficient way of working.
Compressed workweek arrangement will not only reduce cost of work transit, but will also enable employees to allocate more time for other personal and social obligations, thus further promoting work-life balance.”
According to an excerpt in the bill, this can allow workers to have more time for other and personal matters that workers might have for themselves. Not only that, it can also reduce the cost of a workers in transportation, food, etc.
The House of Representatives were happy to have approved the bill. All the bill is waiting for in order for it to be officially known as law is the signature or the specimen of our dear President, President Rodrigo Duterte.
Last August of 2018, the House of Representatives approved the House Bill 6152 and was on its third and final reading. The bill explained that workers can have the option to have up to a total of three (3) days off but must work for up to twelve (12) hours a day because of the fact that the Labor Code of the Philippines require employees to commit 40 to 48 hours of labor per week.
What do you think about this four-day work week for Filipinos? Can this somehow help heal the nationwide-known traffic that the Metro has to offer? Could this drastically decrease the volume of people travelling on a daily basis?