Senator Joel Villanueva supported the proposal of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to look into implementing alternative work arrangements to address rising fuel costs.

“Implementing flexible working arrangements like working from home is one of the best interventions that the government can do because it protects productivity for businesses and workers’ welfare while cutting fuel consumption,” Villanueva said.

The veteran legislator renewed his call for the Department of Labor and Employment to work with businesses for the full implementation of the Work From Home Law, which was enacted back in 2018.

“WFH is one way for industries to adjust and cope.”

“The Telecommuting or Work From Home Law has been relevant even before the pandemic started, as skyrocketing fuel prices is one of the main reasons why we pushed for this to become a law. We have yet to see the end to the problems of traffic and high price of fuel, and WFH is one way for industries to adjust and cope,” the seasoned lawmaker stressed.

The chair of the Senate committee on labor, employment, and human resources also supported NEDA’s recommendation for a four-day work week to keep the economy afloat amidst the fuel crisis.

The senator previously filed Senate Bill No. 153 to allow businesses to implement alternative work arrangements, such as a reduction of workdays.

Under the proposed amendment to the Labor Code, businesses can implement alternative work arrangements as long as total work hours per week shall not exceed 48 hours, and follow rules governing overtime pay, night shift differential, and other related benefits.

Other examples of alternative work arrangements include a compressed workweek, rotation of workers within the workweek, flexible holiday schedules, and flexible time.

“It is our job to empower them to contribute to the national economy without the burden of fuel prices and the daily commute.”

The senator is also set to pass this bill into law during the next Congress.

“Businesses and workers are already familiar with alternative work arrangements by this time. It is our job to empower them to contribute to the national economy without the burden of fuel prices and the daily commute. This also gives our workers the opportunity to spend their wages on needs other than transportation costs,” he said.

“This way, we balance the need for businesses to continue growing despite the oil crisis, and we help with the work-life balance for our workers,” Villanueva added.

He also repeated his call to secure the funding for the P5 billion under Unprogrammed Funds in the 2022 National Budget allotted for fuel subsidies and ensure its immediate release to identified vulnerable sectors.

Villanueva said that the sectors like transportation, agriculture, and fisheries should be prioritized to receive these subsidies to allay the rising price of consumer goods.



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