On the proposed compressed workweek
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

My good friend, and fellow PMAP (People Management Association of the Philippines) past president, Congressman Mark Go, representing the lone district of Baguio City, has filed a bill in Congress seeking to give employers the additional flexibility to reduce working days from the current six days a week to either only four days or five days. One good thing about this proposed law is that it gives the business owners the freedom to decide. They can either maintain the status quo or opt to reduce the work days as long as the total 48 working hours per week are maintained.

The advantages of this proposed setup are many and I cannot think of any serious disadvantage. To the employees, the scheme shall allow them three rest days, enough span of time that they can use for many other undertakings. They can either engage in micro business enterprises so as to augment their income or get a second job on a part-time basis, like teaching or engaging in sales and marketing of various commodities. They can also use this free time to pursue higher studies, to get a masters' or a doctorate, or a special diploma on a second course. They can save on transport costs and other related expenses. They can be more family oriented and have more bonding time with their spouses and children, siblings and parents.

To the employers, this new work schedule means less expenses in terms of power supply, and other facilities. This will also relieve the business owners and executives, as well as managers from being tied up to their business operations longer and in more working days. They can thus make use of the prolonged weekends to plan, strategize and think of business expansion, diversification and other corporate mergers, consolidations or spinoffs, and other possibilities. They can also further enrich their family and personal life and pursue sports, arts, and other higher aspirations. Thus, Congressman Go's proposed law will promote a more balanced work and personal life.

Congressman Mark Go knows whereof he speaks. He was an experienced HR manager of Texas Instruments a multi-billion global company with thousands of employees for many years. He was awarded by PMAP as the organization's Personnel Manager of the Year, a distinct honor given only to one among the thousands of HR managers all over the Philippines. When this writer served as PMAP president in 2014, Go was a member of the board representing all past presidents. He is a very learned and action-oriented man. He owns a first-class international school in Baguio and he is well-respected in the business community as a man who loves his country and is a hard-working and honest pubic official.

This bill, which was already approved by the Lower House Labor Committee, is a very apt answer to many of our woes. We call upon all sectors to support this proposed law.


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