The Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Wednesday issued a memorandum circular (MC), adopting the interim guidelines for alternative work schemes in government amid the threat posed by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
A copy of MC 7 released by CSC on Monday directs all heads of constitutional bodies and offices in local and national governments to adopt “either or both” the four-day workweek and shift work.
The order covers all government agencies, including constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus, and agencies of the national government, government-owned and –controlled corporations with original charters, local government units, and state universities and colleges.
Under the four-day workweek arrangement, public employees’ workweek is reduced to four days, but the number of work hours per day is increased to 10 hours so the total number of required work hours per week would not be less than 40 hours.
“The agency shall ensure that its normal workweek is maintained,” MC 7 read.
The work shift scheme, meantime, allows the shifting of government employees, as long as they are able to meet the required 40 hours per week.
MC 7 takes effect immediately.
The agency head should ensure that health workers, first responders, and frontline service providers are provided support mechanisms like health interventions, stress debriefing, and appropriate technologies to minimize face-to-face contact, according to the CSC order.
The CSC adopted the guidelines after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday declared a state of public health emergency nationwide amid the rise in the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
MC 7 notes that the alternative work arrangements should be adopted for the duration of the state of public health emergency.
“Agencies may formulate their internal rules and regulations governing the implementation of the alternative work arrangements in accordance with these guidelines, which shall be submitted to the Civil Service Commission through the CSC Regional Offices for records purposes,” it said.
“Agencies shall adopt a monitoring mechanism during the implementation of the alternative work arrangements to ensure that public service delivery is not prejudiced,” the order added.
The number of people infected with Covid-19 in the country has risen to 49, the Department of Health confirmed earlier Wednesday. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/PNA)