4-day govt work week in NCR approved

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THE Civil Service Commission (CSC)  has approved a four-day work week for government offices in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila, a move which caught even Malacañang flat-footed.

In news briefing on Friday, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda confirmed that the CSC has issued a memorandum on the matter but clarified it was not sanctioned by Malacañang.

“I just spoke to the human resource [people]of the Office of the President. They just received this particular memo the other day from the CSC field director. It is now submitted to one of the deputy executive secretaries for study right now,” Lacierda said.

He added  that they are yet to discuss how to go about the CSC directive but that the President’s office will certainly call for a meeting over the memorandum because President Benigno Aquino 3rd is fond of even working “overtime.”


“There are requirements in order for one to use the four-day work week. So, that has not been discussed yet, and most likely [there will be discussions on it],” Lacierda told reporters.

When asked if the Palace was consulted prior to the issuance of the CSC memorandum, he replied: “No, but the Civil Service Commission is an independent constitutional commission.”

“They have their own mandate and so, they provided us guidelines for us to look into,” Lacierda said.

He added that the four-day work week “will be a factor” in setting future activities of the President.

“Being the Office of the President, where there are a number of meetings that the President on a daily basis engages in, that will be part of the factor . . . There are requirements such as [for one]frontline services can be accessed by the public online, if the agency has a one-stop shop,’ Lacierda explained.

The memorandum’s effectivity, however, remains vague because agencies would still have to “apply” for the program with the CSC.

“This is to inform you that the commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 22 Series of 2014 dated September 12, 2014. Furthermore, CSC Resolution No. 1401286 promulgated on September 8 and the guidelines on the matter will also [be]issued,” Lacierda quoted the CSC memorandum as saying.

“So, it only mentioned the promulgation date, effectivity,” he noted.

To begin assessing the impact of the CSC memorandum on the Office of the President, Lacierda said the office’s human resource department has submitted the memorandum to a deputy executive secretary.

“All of us here in the compound are under the Office of the President and the President has many engagements and a four-day work week in terms of engagement looks [inapplicable]to the President’s engagements that sometimes run for the entire week without rest,” he further explained.

“Those things will be taken into consideration along with the requirements as provided here in the Civil Service Commission memorandum circular. So, I can’t say other than the fact that it will be studied by the Office of the ES [Executive Secretary] first before we make any decision on the matter,” Lacierda said.

He disclosed that upon receiving a copy of the memorandum, he immediately spoke to Department of Budget and Management officials who said they were assessing the program.

Lacierda also  noted that the DBM has offices outside Metro Manila and their functions may be affected if the DBM central office would apply for the shortened work week.

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3 Comments

  1. A 4 – day work in all government offices will lead to more red tapes, fixers particularly in LTO’s will take advantage of this. The intentionally very slow paced in processing drivers license in most of the LTO’s force the drivers to resort to fixers. It will also be used as an excuse by some lazy government employees not to finish their job on time. I still remember an arrogant employee of Quezon City hall when myself and my wife are securing birth certificates for my two kids who were born in De Los Santos Hospital.Only the lazy government employees will be happy for this 4-day work.

  2. The four-day work week in the NCR is ill-advised. It’s going to hamper our economy because the rest of the world with whom we do business with operate on a five-day work week. Likewise, this is not the solution to our traffic gridlock problem which is the main reason why the CSC is even considering this bad idea.

    The solution to our traffic jams and the air pollution that it brings is to reverse the mindsets of the Aquino administration and the mayors of the city governments in Metro Manila in giving priority to the inefficient cars in the use of our NCR roads. Instead, they should develop an effective mass rapid transit system. Since construction of additional MRT and subway lines similar to those in Singapore and Seoul would take time and cost much money, the government should just develop a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) similar to the system now in use in Curitiba, Brazil. Their BRT system is publicly-owned and used by 70% of commuters in the city. This BRT employs big, modern, comfortable, high-capacity buses that run on designated lanes in main avenues unhampered by traffic lights and other vehicles. There are well-designed tube-shaped stations where tickets are sold and collected before boarding, and these stations serve also as shelters for waiting passengers. The buses stop at these stations every 90 seconds; the buses are equipped with wide doors to facilitate boarding for passengers on wheel-chairs and to allow simultaneous loading and unloading of passengers at stations. Other areas not served by the BRT are served by mini-buses that drop off their passengers at BRT stations for connections. As these buses run on roads designated exclusively for them, they are indeed rapid so to speak.

    As we have roads already in place, putting in place a BRT system in Metro Manila won’t cost as much as the MRT system.

    • So much for the BRT. If you have had read the Circular (I assume you did not) the 4 day work week does not apply to agencies whose exigency of services are more than evident. Further, the subject aims to contribute to the lessening of traffic in the Metro DUE TO on going construction of the Skyway 3, which is now on its third phase, and will be expected to be finished in a year from now. Furthermore, the each agency will have to determine if it is applicable to their mandate and have to apply for it to be enforced. In addition, should there be problems in delivering the agency’s standard quality of services, they may opt to cancel/terminate the implementation for their 4 day work week.

      I encourage you to read first in order for each and everyone of us to constructively contribute ideas.