Mixed reactions greet new House Bill 6152

By: Nestle L. Semilla August 28,2017 - 10:37 PM

FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK

A BILL passed by Congress to allow a four-day workweek received mixed reactions from workers in Cebu.

While some employees favored the bill, others thought that it was a bad idea.

The House of Representatives, last week, approved on third and final reading the bill that seeks to allow a four-day workweek by increasing the normal daily work hours.

“For me, I feel unproductive if I only work for four days,” Reina Mae Otarra, an English teacher, told Cebu Daily News.

Otarra added that employees will likely accomplish less work if their workdays are limited to just four.

While having four working days a week allows them to do other things like indulge in their hobbies and travel, Otarra said, she still preferred an eight-hour five-day work schedule.

Lucille Collamat, a grade school teacher, also believes that four days would not be enough to teach their lessons to the pupils.

“Ang mahitabo ana, akong learning objectives dili nako ma-teach ug tarong,” Collamat said.

(What will happen is that I would not be able to teach my learning objectives properly.)

Lhojie Bolotano, a company supervisor based in Mandaue City, for his part, fully supports the bill, saying as this will give workers more time to spend with their families.

“Makahatag pud og time sa kaugalingon then dili pud dali ma-burn out sa trabaho,” Bolotano said.

(This will also give us more time for ourselves then we will not be easily burned out from work.)

Bolotano believes that the bill can also help solve Cebu’s traffic problems.

Bolotano noted that if working hours are extended to 12 hours, most employees will be going home from work much later than the students who will be dismissed from schools hours earlier.

Wendel Umpad, an electrical engineer, also favors the bill as this, he said, will give workers a longer time to rest to recoup their physical strength especially for people like him working on field.

For her part, a restaurant human resource officer who refused to be named expressed apprehension that an extended workday may create problems with employees who flatly refuse to spend more hours at work.

“There are people who refused to have overtime. How much more if the working hours will be extended,” she said.

Under House Bill (HB) 6152, companies may reduce the number of workdays by increasing the usual eight-hour workday to a 10- or 12-hour workday.

Under the Labor Code, employees are required to work for 40 to 48 hours a week for five to six days.

The bill, which amends Article 83, 87 and 91 of the Labor Code, aims to promote business competitiveness, work efficiency and labor productivity.

HB 6152, or “An Act Increasing the Normal Work Hours Per Day Under a Compressed Work Week Scheme,” was passed with 226 affirmative votes, with no dissensions or abstentions.

If the bill becomes enacted, employers would be allowed to exceed the eight-hour daily normal working hours by adopting a scheme reducing the number of working days in a week. Normal working hours would still have a limit of 48 hours a week, but employers could not spread them out over six days.

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