The Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva tackled on Wednesday a proposed measure which seeks to amend the 40-year-old Labor Code.
The Committee discussed Senate Bill No. 1571 or An Act Amending Article 83 of the Labor Code espousing alternative working arrangements filed by Villanueva.
Under SBN 1571, employers and employees are given an option to implement any type of flexible working arrangement such as compressed workweek, flexi-time, and flexi holidays schedule.
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) said it is supportive of Villanueva's proposed measure as it "seeks to enhance flexibility in the workplace by providing an option for a compressed workweek and other flexible work arrangements."
"As emphasized by the good author, a compressed workweek arrangement allows employees to allocate more time for personal and social obligations thus further promoting work-life balance," said Lea Payumo, planning officer of PCW.
"The adoption of a flexible work arrangement will enable companies to employ persons whose interests are best served by the alternative work schedules such as working mothers or single parents. At the same time, by reducing the number of working days, employees get to save on transportation and food costs. It also contributes and lessens the volume of traffic especially in commercial centers and urban areas," Payumo added.
Villanueva stressed that the Senate's version of the proposed measure is different from the House bill which concentrated solely on the compressed workweek.
"Our bill refers to alternative working arrangements and not only to compressed workweek, and gives the Department of Labor and Employment the flexibility to promulgate rules and regulations to implement this measure," Villanueva explained.
Villanueva also clarified that the adoption of flexible working arrangements is voluntary on the part of employers and employees as well. Flexible working arrangements will also depend on the nature of work.
"I honestly believe we need to adapt to rapidly changing business environment and this measure will pave the way for changes that would improve the lives of every Filipino worker," Villanueva said.