• Flexible work time eyed for Metro Manila workers

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    EMPLOYERS are in favor of implementing a flexible work time or “flexitime” when construction work on the Skyway Stage 3 in Metro Manila starts, a Palace official said on Saturday.

    The Skyway project is expected to worsen traffic jams and will slow down commuters, a Palace official said on Saturday.

    “There are employers who are open to implementing a flexible time of work because we are appealing for understanding, considering the construction of the Metro Manila Skyway project,” Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said in a radio interview.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd inaugurated the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 last week, an infrastructure that will connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

    “Given that the construction [of the Metro Manila Skyway]will affect traffic, we reiterate the President’s call for patience from the public. Once the project is completed between 2016 and 2017, [we will be expecting]a travel time of only 15 to 20 minutes from SLEX to NLEX, and the decongestion of traffic in Metro Manila,” Valte said.

    “Flexitime” is a system that allows employees to set their own daily time of starting and finishing work, within specific limits.

    Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. earlier said employers can start addressing the issue even if the Department of Labor and Employment has yet to issue a statement about the matter.

    “Based on my background on that aspect, companies have the freedom…to (allow) their employees (to adjust their work hour schedules),” Coloma said. “On their own, they can take the voluntary actions to ease the burden on their employees and minimize the possibility that their employees will be stressed or less than healthy,” he added.

    The Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 will start at the end of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 1 in Buendia and will run through Osmeña Highway, Quirino Ave. in Paco, Sta. Mesa via the Nagtahan flyovers, Aurora Blvd. and Araneta Ave. up to Sgt. Rivera Road and A. Bonifacio Ave. en route to NLEX.

    A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency last year showed that the Philippines is annually losing P2.4 billion because of traffic congestion.

    Llanesca T. Panti with PNA

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