By Myrna Velasco
Prior to the advent of the “ber” months which could worsen traffic in Metro Manila, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will be enforcing a four-day work week scheme starting next month.
A Department Order issued by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the four-day work week will apply to rank-and-file employees of the department but those in managerial posts will continue to adhere to the five-day work week schedule.
The new work schedule “is an alternative arrangement whereby the normal work week is reduced to four days, but the number of work hours per day is increased to 10 hours instead of eight (8) hours so that the total number of work hours per week remains at 40 hours.”
The department order specified that “the schedule of the DOE modified four-day work week shall be either Monday to Thursday; or Tuesday to Friday.” It is targeted to be enforced from August 1 to December 31 this year.
Such change in work paradigm for the agency “is in response to the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila as conveyed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority brought about by the major infrastructure projects of the Department of Transportation.”
The shortened work days could be availed of by permanent and coterminous DOE employees, “except for the members of the management committee who hold positions with salary grades 27 and above.” The department’s drivers and chauffeurs are also required to be in the five-day workweek schedule.
The fixed office hours for the four-day work week shall be from 7:30am to 6:00pm, inclusive of 30-minute lunch break.
For those with approved authority to render overtime work, the DOE emphasized that such could still be done during their day-off which could either be on a Monday or Friday.
The energy chief instructed that “interested qualified DOE employees shall choose one preferred schedule,” and that the employee shall fill-out an application form and seek approval from the division chief or director of the office he or she has been serving.
“Once the preferred schedule is chosen, an employee can no longer change his or her preferred schedule while the modified four-day work week scheme is being implemented,” the energy department stressed.
And to ensure that there is sufficient manpower in the various divisions or bureaus of the agency, “all division heads shall be accountable in ensuring that at least 50-percent of their manpower will report to work on Mondays and Fridays – constituting an adequate workforce which will ensure that all services of the division/unit/office are effectively rendered during those days.”