Yesterday, the National Economic Development Authority suggested a 4-day workweek amid the rising oil prices. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua of NEDA said that a compressed workweek will help workers save on costs while also keeping our economy afloat.
Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi backed the NEDA's proposal, stating that the 4-day workweek will help conserve oil consumption amid the non-stop rise of pump prices. He added that the compressed workweek will also help workers avoid work-related expenses like commuting to and from work.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide whether to actually implement the said 4-day workweek. Fortunately, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the President is expected to announce his decision regarding the matter on March 21, 2022.
Andanar also mentioned that given the severity of the issue, President Duterte is studying whether the 4-day workweek will actually work without negatively affecting the economy in the long run. This comes after President Duterte announced that the fuel excise tax will stay despite the continued rise of oil prices. To provide some aid to the poor, a PHP 200 subsidy will be given per month.
“Malalaman po natin ito ngayong darating na Lunes. Ito po ay rekomendasyon, ito’y suggestion para po maibsan iyong posibleng negative effect,” said Andanar.
[We will know this coming Monday. This is a recommendation, a suggestion to alleviate its possible negative effect]
With pump prices now averaging between PHP 75 to over PHP 80 in Metro Manila (more so in areas outside the metro), motorists are struggling to keep up with the non-stop oil price hikes. However, there are reports that a huge rollback will happen next week which will give some relief to cash-strapped motorists.
Will President Duterte actually implement a 4-day workweek? Or will he keep the status quo despite the continued fuel price hikes? Watch this space.