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CSC Urges Flexible Work Arrangements to Mitigate NCR Traffic Woes

MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to alleviate the traffic congestion plaguing Metro Manila, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has called on government agencies within the National Capital Region (NCR) to implement flexible working arrangements (FWAs). The move aims to enhance the productivity and well-being of the region's substantial government workforce, which constitutes 22.30 percent of the nation's career and non-career personnel.

According to Philippines News Agency, the initiative, outlined through CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) 6, s. 2022, seeks to establish adaptable and efficient work schemes that respond to disruptive situations, including Metro Manila's challenging traffic conditions. Nograles highlighted the dual benefits of FWAs: improving employee efficiency and ensuring their health, safety, and welfare amidst daily commute challenges.

The adoption of FWAs, as Nograles noted, will be at the discretion of individual agency heads. These leaders must balance the new work arrangements with the need to maintain uninterrupted public service delivery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the workweek. The primary goal is to ensure the continued provision of timely, reliable public services despite the implementation of flexible work schedules.

Under the guidance of MC 6, agencies are empowered to choose from six different FWAs. These include Flexiplace, allowing employees to work temporarily from a location outside the traditional office; the Compressed Workweek, which condenses the typical 40-hour workweek into fewer days; and the Skeleton Workforce, maintaining minimal office staffing levels when full staffing is unfeasible.

Other arrangements comprise Work Shifting for 24-hour operation agencies or those needing to adhere to health and safety protocols, Flexitime, which permits flexible office hours provided the 40-hour workweek is fulfilled, and the option for agencies to combine any of these FWAs as best fits their operational requirements.

Agencies adopting FWAs are tasked with developing specific guidelines to govern these arrangements. These guidelines will cover permissible tasks outside the office, health and safety protocols, performance monitoring mechanisms, and support provisions for employees.

This initiative represents a significant step towards addressing the metro's traffic dilemma by leveraging flexible work policies to sustain public service effectiveness while prioritizing the welfare of government employees.