Officials and employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Catanduanes Engineering District have started reporting for work for only three days a week under a reduced workforce scheme under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) guidelines.
District Engineer Gil Augustus A. Balmadrid told the Tribune last week that that Secretary Mark A. Villar directed all regional and district offices nationwide to observe the new work schedule in compliance with recent guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) that leads the national government’s battle against the coronavirus infectious disease.
Under the schedule which came into effect last Friday, May 1, 2020, half of the engineering district’s workforce will report to their offices during Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, with the other half reporting for work on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The section chiefs were given the discretion to identify which employees will report on the two shifts.
Each working day will be 10 hours long or a total of 30 hours, DE Balmadrid said. The balance of 10 hours needed to complete the required 40-hour workweek, will be divided into five-hour work-at-home stints for the employees during their two-day time off from the office.
On their days off, they will be given specific assignments to complete in the safety of their homes, with their accomplished work to be submitted when they report the next day.
The scheme will not cover DPWH employees working in the field, who will report from Monday to Friday, but they will be given a specific day of the week to report on their accomplishments to avoid crowding at the district office and maintain social distancing.
DE Balmadrid also informed that beginning last Monday, May 4, contractors will resume all previously on-going infrastructure projects which were ordered suspended at the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
The DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District has been active in supporting the campaign against COVID-19 by lending vehicles to the Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases – Provincial Task Force (EREID-PTF) for use in various operations, including dump trucks in the distribution of relief goods to all 11 towns.
Together with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) headed by officer-in-charge Engr. Jerry Arena and the Catanduanes Contractors Association (CCA) led by its president Engr. Samuel Laynes, the DPWH has fabricated beds and partitions for the Ligtas COVID facility at two unoccupied three-story buildings at the Catanduanes National High School (CNHS).
Under Memorandum Circular No. 07, s. 2020, all government offices, including state universities and colleges, have been advised by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to adopt alternative work arrangements.
These include a four-day workweek, whereby the individual’s workweek is reduced to four (4) days but the number of work hours per day is increased to 10 hours.
They can likewise resort to an existing 24/7 shifting schedule and shifting of assignments to perform frontline services, or adopt either scheme as long as its normal workweek is maintained.