By Kier Edison C. Belleza
Cebu City – Business and government leaders here have raised concerns over a pending legislation in the House of Representatives which institutionalizes the compressed work week arrangement.
Under House Bill 6152, which the House approved last week, companies could reduce the workdays of their employees to four days in a week but, in turn, have to increase the employees’ work hours per day to up to 12 hours.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña said this scheme might create an “economic dislocation” in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and that he could not afford to let employees work that long.
Osmeña said he would be meeting with different representatives from the BPO sector in the city to hear out their sentiments, saying that it would be hard for them to adjust if this bill is enacted, as they are dependent on other time zones.
Should there be a need for him to take up the issue to the President, he will do it, he told reporters.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza had aired a similar appeal to reconsider the bill, saying it would have a big impact on production schedules in a number of manufacturing companies based in Lapu-Lapu. She also noted that the compressed work week might result in delays in government transactions.
Osmeña and Radaza, however, agreed that a longer weekend might be good for the local tourism industry and might address traffic woes.
Glenn Soco, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, echoed the earlier statement of Radaza and asked for a review of the measure.
“We feel that more consultations and study need to be done. It poses more questions than answers,” said Soco.
According to him, the bill, if approved, will “negatively” change the dynamics of business and will later be “counterproductive.”
“It will no longer be consistent with the global business schedules and will be bad for business… It will change the way we live. We have to factor in also how it will affect the other sectors like government, transport, power, etc. It will likewise affect consumer and social behavior,” he said.
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