7-to-4 work schedule takes effect May 2

Ghio Ong, Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
7-to-4 work schedule takes effect May 2
Motorists continue traversing the EDSA-Kamuning flyover in Quezon City on April 7, 2024 before it partially closes on April 25, 2024 for retrofitting that will last for 11 months.
Jesse Bustos / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of the modified work schedule of local government offices in Metro Manila will be deferred by two weeks.

Instead of the initial target date of April 15, the new work hours for local government offices in Metro Manila will become effective on May 2, said San Juan Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) president Francis Zamora.

Employees of Metro Manila’s 17 local government units (LGUs) will report for work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of the current 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to MMC Resolution 24-08.

“More than two weeks will be enough for the public to know the changes in work hours,” said Zamora during a media briefing at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Pasig yesterday.

He said the body believed the new work schedule will spare around 112,000 employees of Metro Manila LGUs getting stuck in traffic jams during rush hour, as well as help in decongesting major roads in the metropolis.

Zamora assured the public that while work in Metro Manila LGUs would end at 4 p.m., a skeletal force will remain to attend to transactions until 5 p.m.

For his part, MMDA acting Chairman Romando Artes said the adjusted work schedule for LGU employees of Metro Manila will become an advantage for them because they will be able to use their vehicles before the enforcement of the number coding scheme.

At present, the number coding policy that bans vehicles from traversing major roads on certain days depending on the assigned plate numbers is effective from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


The traffic decongestion program in Metro Manila is one of the key strategic infrastructure programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), aimed at easing traffic flow and improving transportation efficiency in the metro.

This was revealed yesterday by Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan after attending the Bagong Pilipinas town hall meeting on traffic concerns convened by President Marcos on Wednesday in San Juan, where he also discussed some of the infrastructure projects to alleviate bottlenecks and provide alternative routes to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Bonoan said the program focuses on the improvement and expansion of the national road network by building more by-passes, diversion roads, expressways, flyovers, interchanges and underpasses.

Key highlights of the DPWH decongestion plan include expansion and upgrading of transportation infrastructure as well the construction of new roads and bridges. 

The completion of the mainline of the 18-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 has reduced travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 15-20 minutes. 

The Tomas Claudio-Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa Section is ongoing, and out of the target 28 ramps, 22 are completed, three are ongoing and the other three ramps are in the planning stage.

Another project that will decongest and bypass EDSA is the 7.7-kilometer NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, targeted for completion this year. This elevated expressway mostly running parallel to the Philippine National Railways rail track from Caloocan to Plaza Dilao in Manila will reduce travel time from SLEX to NLEX from two hours to 20 minutes.

The project is 95 percent complete and now has three interchanges located in C3 Road/5th Avenue in Caloocan, and España and Magsaysay Boulevard in Manila.

Another project is the 32-kilometer Southeast Metro Manila Expressway (C6 Expressway – Phase I) which will reduce travel time from Bicutan to Batasan from two hours to 30 minutes.

The C5 South Link Expressway will reduce travel time from R-1 Expressway to SLEX/C5 from 40 minutes to 10 minutes. 

The Merville to C5/SLEX and E. Rodriguez to Merville Sections are operational.

The Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project-Phase I involves the construction of a 51-kilometer road network along Laguna Lakeshore from Calamba to Bicutan, which will cater to the increasing traffic volume in the southern corridor of Metro Manila.

The 44-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway is expected to reduce travel time from CAVITEX in Kawit to SLEX Mamplasan in Laguna from two hours to 35 minutes. 

The 17.4-kilometer SLEX Mamplasan to Silang-Aguinaldo Interchange is already operational, while the remaining sections will be completed next year. 

The DPWH is also prioritizing the construction of new bridges crossing the Pasig River and Manggahan Floodway. This will provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways that would decongest traffic in EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila.

Three bridges have been completed – the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge. 

The design and build contracts for the other three bridges are ongoing, with civil works to start this year.

Civil works for the North and South Harbor Bridge and Palanca-Villegas Bridge crossing Pasig River are targeted to start by yearend or early part of next year, while construction of Eastbank-Westbank Bridge 2 crossing Manggahan Floodway is set to commence this September.

One of the landmark projects included in the Inter-island Linkage Bridge Program is the 32-kilometer Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge across Manila Bay, which is set to be the country’s longest bridge once constructed.

Costing P219 billion, it is the biggest and the single most expensive project of DPWH which aims to reduce travel time between Bataan and Cavite from five hours to 45 minutes bypassing Metro Manila.

The transport road and bridge rehabilitation project along EDSA aims to mitigate the large economic losses due to traffic in Metro Manila.

The project is currently proposed for inclusion in the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) technical cooperation project for large-scale road and bridge replacement and rehabilitation, including the total rehabilitation of EDSA.

Improving the structural integrity and seismic resilience of existing bridges remains a top priority for the government.

Among the key projects critical to attaining this objective is the rehabilitation and replacement of Guadalupe and Lambingan bridges, under the JICA-funded Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project, set to commence this year.

This will ensure the safety of about 365,000 motorists who traverse EDSA through the Guadalupe Bridge, and about 30,257 motorists who pass by Lambingan Bridge every day.

Bonoan said the agency will also continue assisting MMDA in road clearing and removal of obstructions, as well as promote active transport by building more bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure in coordination with the Department of Transportation.

Wang-wang ban backed

Seven House members yesterday backed Marcos in banning government officials from using sirens and blinkers.

In a joint statement, Reps. Migs Nograles (PBA party-list), Jil Bongalon (Ako Bicol party-list), Pammy Zamora (Taguig), Zia Alonto Adiong (Lanao del Sur), Paolo Ortega (La Union), Jay Khonghun (Zambales) and Cheeno Miguel Almario (Davao Oriental) said the President’s issuance of Administrative Order 18 is a welcome move.

“This administrative order is very laudable, especially since we all know, and we have all not been oblivious to the fact that some of our government officials have indeed been abusing the use of these sirens and blinkers,” said Nograles.

The order covers all elected and appointed officials, except those authorized to use the devices. — Jose Rodel Clapano, Sheila Crisostomo

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