by MATTHEW DAVE JUCOM
SOME PRESIDENTIAL aspirants have expressed support to the proposed “four-day workweek” scheme, provided that workers will be given sufficient overtime pay.
Former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody De Guzman, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and Vice President Leni Robredo agreed to lessen the number of workdays and increase the number of work hours with the assurance of 30-percent overtime pay.
“Dapat gawin ‘yung four days, overtime pay, may 30% wage overtime pay. Hindi parang one and a half days lang ‘yon (The four days should have an overtime pay of 30 percent, not as if the workers are only working for one and a half days),” De Guzman said during the Commission on Elections-led first presidential debate held Saturday.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) recently proposed to reduce the working days from five to four days a week and extend the working hours to 10 per day to lessen the impact of the existing oil price hike among commuters.
The proposed policy was seconded by Lacson and Robredo, provided that workers would not be “short-changed.”
“De Guzman is right. We should really ask for overtime pay to be amended under the labor code, to allow workers to have overtime pay should they exceed eight hours,” Lacson said.
If the employees will work four days a week, Robredo said their pay must be commensurate with their work hours.
“I agree with Ka Leody that the workers’ take-home pay should not be short-changed,” Robredo said.
Abella added that workers should be given commensurate pay even if they are asked to have lesser workdays.
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao settled with the idea of “hybrid” implementation—applying only to some industry sectors.
For Domagoso, this would be applicable for business process outsourcing (BPO) industries that could have a one-day work-from-home set-up.
“I think it is dependent on the industry like BPO. It can have one day of work from home. I think that I agree,” Domagoso said.
But there were industries like the manufacturing side that “needed the physical presence of human resources to create more productivity, efficiency, and production,” Domagoso added.
Pacquiao also proposed the hybrid work arrangement as prolonging work hours for some employees would bring more harm, especially to their health.
“Pero alalahanin na may trabaho na hindi madali. ‘Yung mabibilad ka sa araw buong araw tapos sampung oras ka na nandoon magtatrabaho, baka naman hindi ka makapagtrabaho magkakasakit ka lalo (But we should remember that there are jobs that are not easy. If they will be under the sun for the whole 10 hours, then consequences would be risky for their health and efficiency),” Pacquiao said.
Meanwhile, former national defense secretary Norberto Gonzales and Faisal Mangondato said implementing such a policy needs further study to assure its efficiency. F