CONSIDERING the traffic conditions in Metro Manila and highly urbanized cities, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has enjoined government agencies to review their internal policies on working hours and implement “flexitime” rules for as long as state workers complete the required 40 hours a week or eight hours a day.
However, CSC chairperson Alicia-Bala said certain conditions must be in place to manage the expectation of the public in which flexitime is allowed but the agency must ensure that services are available anytime within 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
She said flexibility in the daily work schedules is a way to spread the volume of people on the road, especially during peak hours and consider the plight of motorists and commuters who lose valuable rest and family time due to heavy traffic.
The CSC said the guidelines contained in Memorandum Circular 25 does not automatically change the work schedules of government employees rather it directs agencies to formulate rules in the implementation of flexitime with the approval of the department, office or agency and subject to certain conditions.
The flexible work schedule must abide by conditions that officials and employees shall not render less than a total of 40 hours a week for five days a week.
It is exclusive of time for lunch that working hours shall not start earlier than 7 a.m. and end later than 7 p.m.; and that the public is assured of the continuous services of the agency from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. even during lunch break.
Dela Rosa-Bala added that with flexitime in place, government agencies may even consider extending their frontline service hours before 8 a.m. and beyond 5 p.m. for the benefit of those who need to transact with government but cannot do so during regular office hours.
Under the guidelines, agencies may opt to consider Saturdays and Sundays as regular workdays, effectively granting affected employees two rest days from Mondays to Fridays. In such case, services rendered during Saturdays and Sundays considered as regular workdays shall not be treated as overtime.
Agencies are now allowed to set at their preferred time the conduct of flag raising ceremony on the first working day of the week, as well as the flag lowering ceremony on the last working day of the week.
The CSC clarified that the implementation of flexitime scheme does not amend or invalidate civil service rules and regulations pertaining to habitual tardiness, habitual absenteeism, and performance management.