By Charissa M. Luci
Lawmakers are seeking the adoption of a work-at-home program for some government employees to help ease the traffic congestion and save on costs.
AKO BICOL party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe led the filing of House Resolution 526 urging Congress to look into the possible adoption of such policy by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
“The present set up of strictly office-centered work condition, which forces employees to report daily for work in the office has become disadvantageous for them, considering the fact that improved computing and Internet technology has made remote offices and telecommuting or work-at-home set up not only feasible but practical,” he said.
“Commuting to and from the office has become increasingly unbearable because of traffic congestion such that an employee would need to wake up at 4 or 5 a.m. and spend about 1 or 2 hours to get to work every working day, and another 1 or 2 hours to get home from work,” Batocabe said.
Joining Batocabe in filing House Resolution 526 are fellow AKO BICOL party list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Christopher Co.
Citing a January, 2016 Labor Force Survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Batocabe said the latest estimate of employed workers in Metro Manila is around 7.5 million, almost all of whom are, presumably, either driving or commuting to and from work.
“Allowing even a small percentage of these workers to work-at-home at least once a day would lessen traffic congestion,” he said.
“There are jobs or tasks performed by government workers or employees that could be carried out at home, thanks to the advancements in computer and information technology,” Batocabe stressed.
He even argued that government agencies and companies will be able to save on utility costs if many employees are allowed to work-at-home for at least once a day, especially if these employees are using office space and utilities in one big office room.