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CSC sets 5 alternative work arrangements for gov’t workers during quarantine

Sofia Tomacruz
The Civil Service Commission says this takes effect May 22

ADJUST. Commuters entering Metro Manila on March 16, 2020 line up at the the Susana Heights-SLEX exit to get their body temperature and work documents checked. File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Civil Service Commission (CSC) set interim guidelines on alternative work arrangements and safety protocols for government workers during the state of national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada said the guidelines, drafted with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Health, will take effect on May 22.

Under CSC memorandum circular no. 10, constitutional bodies, departments, bureaus, and agencies, government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, local government units (LGUs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs) are covered by the guidelines.  

There are 5 alternative work arrangements that government bodies may observe, namely:  

Work from home. Output-oriented work arrangements where workers are allowed to produce output or results outside the office. The CSC said this can be adopted in areas placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).  

This can also be an option in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) where public transportation is limited and physical distancing measures are required in workspaces.

Aside from this, employees below 21-years-old and above 60, as well as those with co-morbidities and considered high-risk, can observe work from home arrangements “except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances or when office work is permitted.” This will also apply to people living with “high-risk” persons, CSC said.  

Skeleton workforce. A minimum number of employees will be required to report to the office to render service when full staffing is not possible.  

Employees who are part of skeleton workforces will be entitled to hazard pay on top of the compensatory time off or overtime pay granted for authorized services done outside of the employee’s regular work hours, the CSC said.  

4-day or compressed work week. Employees’ work weeks are compressed to 4 days. This may be adopted in areas under GCQ. 

Staggered hours. Work arrangements where work shifting or flexible working time is observed. Here, the CSC said “staggered aworking hours refers to the existing 24/7 shifting schedule and the flexible working time schedule.” 

Other Alternative Work Arrangements. A combination of the enumerated work arrangements or other work arrangements applicable to the agency, but subject to community quarantine guidelines in areas where the agency is located.  

Here, agencies will formulate their own rules and regulations to implement the alternative work arrangement adopted. Guidelines should include arrangements for employees who travel to and from areas placed under different quarantine levels.  

Other measures. The CSC said accomplishment reports must be submitted to the CSC during the duration alternative work arrangements are adopted. 

Aside from this, government offices are also expected to ensure workers wear of face masks and that taking of body temperature and presence of sanitation stations are implemented. 

The CSC said support mechanisms for employees like health and psychosocial interventions, provision of personal protective equipment, and “reasonable” transportation facilities and housing quarters should also be made available to government workers. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.