Gov't offices urged to adopt 4-day work week, shifting hours amid coronavirus threat

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2020 10:48 PM

MANILA - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Wednesday urged all government agencies and offices to implement changes in their work schedule due to the threat of COVID-19.

In a memorandum released March 11, CSC urged all government agencies and offices to adopt alternative work arrangements for employees.

Agencies may opt to implement either or both of the following arrangements: a four-day work week and a shifting schedule.

Under the four-day work week arrangement, employees are required to render 10 hours of work per day for four days.

On the other hand, under the shifting arrangement, it will be up to the agencies to decide on the schedule of its employees provided that they work for a total of 40 hours a week.

The shifting refers to either an existing 24/7 schedule or shifting of assignments to perform frontline services.

Agency heads are also urged to ensure that employees providing essential services, such as health workers and frontline service providers are given support mechanisms such as health interventions, stress debriefing and appropriate technologies to minimize face-to-face contact.

The CSC said the memorandum should take effect immediately and will be implemented until the state of public health emergency has been lifted.

The Philippines currently has 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Department of Health has been confirming several new cases every day over the past week, with the latest 46 recorded just starting March 6. 

The health department earlier raised its response level to Code Red, Sub-level 1, placing all health personnel and resources ready for deployment, after at least one confirmed local transmission, a COVID-19 patient with no travel history.

There are now more than 113,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed across the world, according to World Health Organization data. Of this number, 4,000 patients have died. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier suspended classes at all levels in Metro Manila this week to prevent possible exposure of students to the virus. He has also placed the country in a state of public health emergency.