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Business

Petilla nixes 4-day work week proposal

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The proposed four-day work week for government employees is not likely to bring about desired results in the power sector, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Petilla said if blackouts are a risk for the metropolis all seven days of the week, a shorter working week would not be viable for the department.

“It’s not going to work for us. Because how you will have no brownout on Monday, but have them Tuesday, Thursday and Friday?”

Petilla said he could not see how the four-day work week would solve blackout concerns, as there are certain times each day – 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. – that pose the biggest problems of energy consumption.

He said there had been proposals for a shift of working hours to the evening, to avoid strain on the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. time slots.

However, he said this, too, posed problems, as staff start working on evening shifts.

“What would help us is to avoid working at those times, which would mean working in the evenings… The problem is now you have to pay a night differential, and who would bear the cost of a night differential? Even if you found a way to subsidize it, how would you implement it?” Petilla said.

The four-day work week scheme was advanced by the Civil Service Commission as a response to the worsening traffic situation. It also aims to reduce energy consumption.

Approved government agencies may opt-in to the scheme, with employees working four days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Petilla has warned of a power shortage in the summer of 2015 due to rising demand.

President Aquino has asked Congress for special powers for the government to be able to tap additional capacity to address the shortage but lawmakers have yet to decide on this request.

Under the plan, the government, through the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), would tap additional capacity through the lease or purchase of bunker-fired generators. – Iris Gonzales, Tess McClure

          

          

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

ENERGY SECRETARY CARLOS JERICHO PETILLA

IRIS GONZALES

PETILLA

POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORP

PRESIDENT AQUINO

TESS

THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

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