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Starting on June 27, Ilocos University will use a 4-day workweek.

Under the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) approved flexible working arrangements, over a thousand faculty and staff members at the state-run Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) will switch to a four-day workweek.

The new arrangement will require some adjustment for working mother Sherlyn Nicolas of the MMSU Extension Directorate office because it will require her to rise earlier than usual in order to make breakfast for her children and her husband, who is also working.

It will be difficult for the children left at home if a mother doesn’t hire a babysitter, but it will save money on transportation costs. Nicolas responded when questioned about the MMSU’s shortened workweek starting on June 27.

The employees’ official work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for four days, totaling 40 hours a week, according to a document dated June 24 and signed by MMSU President Shirley Agrupis.

Except for students attending the National Service Training Program programs, there will be no classes on Fridays and Saturdays with faculty members reporting from Monday through Thursday.

Colleges will have officers of the day on Fridays to address academic concerns.

The four-day workweek will be used by staff members in a variety of offices on college campuses.

Work shift arrangements will be used to ensure complete operation from Mondays through Fridays.

The Graduate School, College of Law, College of Medicine, and employees of the university’s security, medical, and general services departments are exempt from the four-day workweek due to the nature of their operations.

The university memo noted that unless earlier canceled, “These regulations shall apply for the length of the validity of CSC Resolution No. 2200209.”

The first local government entity in Ilocos Norte to do so was the municipality of Piddig, which adopted the flexible working policy on June 15.

The CSC program aims to “institutionalize flexible work arrangements as part of the nationwide effort to transition from a state of public health emergency to the new normal” and acts as “a preventive measure to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of government officials and employees” while ensuring ongoing operations and service delivery.

However, several provincial employees and local business associations have voiced their objection to the four-day workweek.

The productivity of small firms and their workers, according to Ricardo Tolentino, head of the mango producers group, may suffer.

He claimed the shortened four-day work week is only a “band-aid approach,” despite the fact that it would result in fuel and electricity cost savings.

He declared, “It is bad for business and the marginalized earners who have to labor every day to make ends meet.”

A typical work week, as defined by the Labor Code, consists of five or six days with eight hours of labor each.

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