DOLE Implements 4-day Workweek.

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DOLE Implements 4-day Workweek

DOLE implements 4-day workweek

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — All Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) offices and agencies shall be closed every Friday as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued the administrative order for the four-day workweek, which requires all DOLE employees to report only from Monday to Thursday. Friday will be their additional day off.

Under the scheme, employees shall render 10 hours of service a day as DOLE office hours shall be from 7 a.M. To 7 p.M. The lunch break stays at noon to 1 p.M., regardless of the time an employee clocks in for work.

“They may report for work (or) may end work anytime between 6 p.M. And 7 p.M. After completing the 10-hour workday,” Bello said.

The order also states that employees who report for work beyond 8 a.M. Shall be considered tardy, while those who fail to complete 10 hours in one workday shall be considered undertime.

Off-setting of tardiness or undertime shall not be allowed, Bello said.

Likewise, a one-day absence shall be considered a 10-hour absence and shall be deducted proportionately from the employee’s leave credits, he said.

Meanwhile, employees who are required to report for work on their scheduled day-off shall be entitled to 1.5 days compensatory time-off.

As this developed, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials are not keen on implementing a four-day workweek.

“Of course, the services that we need to perform cannot be done in a four-day workweek period,” BIR head revenue executive assistant Rosario Padilla said.

Padilla said the key may be in the shifting of work schedules so that employees will only work four days a week, but the BIR operations will continue five days a week.

BIR Assistant Commissioner Elenita Quimosing said the BIR cannot afford to lose revenues “because our mandate is really collection of taxes.”

Quimosing said it is just a matter of scheduling. “Five days pa rin… shifting let’s say, for example, Monday to Thursday for some employees and the others will be Tuesday to Friday,” she said.

With the threat of unemployment looming as a result of the epidemic, Sen. Joel Villanueva has called on the DOLE to expedite the implementation of emergency assistance to workers who may lose their jobs.

He cited the DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) as one of the programs that could help displaced workers.

TUPAD is a grassroots approach to emergency employment as it is implemented in communities for displaced workers, seasonal workers and even the underemployed. Beneficiaries work for a minimum 10 days but not exceeding 30 days, depending on the nature of the work to be performed, according to the DOLE website.

Villanueva said he hopes DOLE could quickly implement TUPAD in areas that could be hit hardest by layoffs so that the “disruption to the livelihood of workers is kept at a minimum.” – With Christina Mendez, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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