Grace Poe

Poe urges ‘flexi’ WFH for gov’t workers

June 14, 2022 Marlon Purification 366 views

SENATOR Grace Poe called on government agencies to lead the way in implementing truly beneficial and “flexible” work-from-home (WFH) arrangements for civil servants amid the transport woes, but without compromising prompt and reliable delivery of services to all citizens.

Poe issued the call after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued a policy institutionalizing an adaptable setup in government as the country transitions to the “new normal”.

“As frontliners in the delivery of basic services, our government workers need as much support to deal with the soaring prices of essential goods and the current lack of public transport,” Poe said.

“We hope agency heads, in consultation with stakeholders, can sit down and formulate vetted guidelines to give our state employees greater flexibility in doing their jobs with the same, if not greater productivity and efficiency,” Poe said.

The CSC resolution allows for work arrangements such as “flexiplace”, compressed work week, skeleton force, work shifting, flexitime, or a combination of the schemes.

The policy requires strict monitoring mechanisms for daily or weekly reports, the use of communication platforms, and appropriate security measures to ensure the delivery of quality government services.

With several mass transportation projects still in the works, the available public utility vehicles (PUVs) barely meet the needs of the commuting population, especially in the metropolis.

The senator pointed out that the long lines of passengers waiting at the hubs of government’s free-ride program would show how the people are struggling to make both ends meet.

Poe said the “flexible work arrangement” is also a mechanism at government agencies’ disposal to curb oil demand and help the populace cope with back-to-back difficulties.

“Flexibility is the future of work, and for many workers, including those in the private sector, it could mean staving off hunger while still doing their job well,” Poe explained, citing the Telecommuting Act for private sector employees that she supported.

The senator earlier reiterated her call for the suspension of fuel excise tax collection amid the skyrocketing oil prices in the world market.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the value of mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials imported into the country soared by 148% to $2.58 billion in March this year from $1.04 billion in March 2021.

From January to March this year, mineral fuel and lubricant imports jumped by 133.8% year on year to $5.8 billion from $2.48 billion.

“If we really want to encourage our people to leave their homes, go to the office and stimulate the economy, then we also need to provide them the means to get there without making them spend the bulk of their money on transportation,” Poe said.

“Otherwise, we will be turning a blind eye to the woes of our ordinary citizens.”