SENATOR Joel Villanueva will file today a counterpart bill to the proposed compressed four-day work week that the House of Representatives recently approved on third and final reading. Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources, wants to amend Article 83 of the Labor Code of the Philippines to accommodate work duration that exceeds eight hours per day or to allow for a shortened work week option. He said the Senate version will not impose a mandatory four-day work week scheme in the private and government sector, adding that this work option will ease traffic woes in urban centers. Villanueva said the bill limits the work duration to 48 hours per week to safeguard the rights, health, and well-being of each employee. He added flexibility in the workplace allows employees to find an arrangement where they can best fulfill their work obligations given their respective situations. Similarly, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said based on his experience at the Senate and taking into consideration severe traffic conditions, he favors an “optional” four-day work week for government and private companies. “An ordinary employee has to endure four hours of commuting everyday. That’s 20 hours of wasted commuting time in five days. If there’s a four-day work week scheme, the employee can save four hours for his or her family,” he added.