Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday called on government agencies to lead the way in implementing work-from-home arrangements for civil servants 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.
She also noted that country continues to have public transportation woes affecting workers.
“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 that agency heads, in consultation with stakeholders, can sit down and formulate vetted guidelines in order 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 a number of mass transportation projects still in the works, the available public utility vehicles 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 the 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 the disposal of government agencies to curb demand for oil 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 prices of oil in the world market.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the value of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials imported in the country soared by 148 percent 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 percent 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.”