Philippines eyeing four-day work week

Filipinos overwhelmingly support this, according to a study

Philippines eyeing four-day work week

Talks about a four-day work week is being raised in the Philippines amid skyrocketing oil prices currently made worse by the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte this week the new working arrangement, explaining that this could help alleviate costs on food and transportation for employees while fuel prices continue to go up.

Under Chua's suggestion, Filipinos will still report for four hours a week, but instead of dividing it equally over five days, it will be spread out in four days with 10 hours each.

The suggestion saw the support of several lawmakers, including Senator Panfilo Lacson and Win Gatchalian, who is also the chair of the Senate committee on labour, employment, and human resources.

Lacson said that he will support the four-day work week as long as daily wage earners will be properly compensated.

"As long as daily wage earners will be compensated for their extended hours of work which should be equivalent to five days, I will support that four-day workweek so we can save on fuel. It is a good suggestion and we should support that," said Lacson in a press conference.

He added that it will not only save employees some fuel, but this will also give them more time to spend with their families.

Meanwhile, Gatchalian also expressed support to the four-day work week, while renewing his call for the Department of Labour and Employment on the full implementation of the Work From Home (WFH) Law.

"The Telecommuting or Work From Home Law has been relevant even before the pandemic started, as skyrocketing fuel prices is one of the main reasons why we pushed for this to become a law," said Gatchalian in a statement.

"We have yet to see the end to the problems of traffic and high price of fuel, and WFH is one way for industries to adjust and cope," he added.

Read more: The benefits and pitfalls of a 'four-day work week'

Duterte to decide on Monday

A decision on the four-day work week will be made on Monday, according to acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar.

The spokesperson said that Duterte is still reviewing Chua's suggestion and will inform the public about it on Monday.

A recent study from Milieu Insight revealed that 74% of Filipinos want a compressed four-day work week applied in their jobs, citing greater work-life balance.

According to the study, however, they are concerned that this could mean lower salaries for them. Majority or 39% of them said they do not want a salary cut if the four-day work week is implemented.

Currently, Filipinos in the public and private sector are encouraged to report on-site to help revitalize the economy amid the pandemic. The government is even pushing workers in the business process outsourcing sector to start reporting to their offices after this month.

Recent articles & video

Should companies be offering hot weather leaves?

Individual facing community service for managing unlicensed employment agency in Hong Kong

China leads in generative AI adoption worldwide

Engineer fired for objecting to DEI training: reports

Most Read Articles

Singapore launches cybersecurity skills pathway amid global shortage

Malaysian university ordered to pay over RM530,000 for 'unfairly' retrenching two academics

Introducing Asia's most innovative HR teams