Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo (LP, 2nd Dist., Quezon City) today said a new round of legislated wages would be the option, if employers would reject his proposal for a ten-hour, four-day work week, or 10/4.
In a statement, Castelo insisted that the proposed 10/4 work week scheme is a “win-win formula” to improve the labor situation and urged employers to subject it to serious public discussions before making an outright rejection.
“If employers do not want wage hikes, they might as well agree to the 10/4 work formula because the alternative to improve the workers’ plight is to lessen their daily expenditures while going to work,” Castelo said.
“Both parties are winners in 10/4 scheme. Workers reduce their expenditures when going to work, while employers reduce maintenance and operational cost and overtime pay,” Castelo said.
Castelo made the statement as the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) was opposed the 10/4 work scheme, which would permit workers to render daily 10 hours of work from Monday to Thursday instead of the regular eight hours of work from the Monday to Friday.
At the same time, Castelo praised Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for expressing openness to the 10/4 work week scheme, saying Baldoz appeared to know the importance of flexibility in the workplace.
Castelo was reacting to the statement of a top ECOP official, who said that the proposed 10/4 work formula has “noble intention,” but would not help the country’s overall competitiveness.
Castelo said the 10/4 work scheme is premised on the basic assertion that if the nation could not raise the workers’ wages or provide them benefits, the recourse is to lessen their expenditures while working.
Easily, a worker saves at least 20 percent of his weekly expenditures, Castelo said, adding that employers stand to benefit from the 10/4 work week since it means less maintenance and operational cost and overtime pay.
Castelo made the 10/4 work week proposal to save on cost and enable workers to have extended weekend with their families.
The 10/4 formula could mean weekly savings of at least 20 percent in work expenses, stressing it can serve as a “poverty alleviation” program by itself for cash-strapped workers, Castelo said.
If a worker in Metro Manila spends P200 a day in transport fare, food and snacks, and other expenses in going to work, or P1,000 every week, Castelo said the 10/4 work week will mean a savings of P200 per week. For workers in the provinces, who spend a daily average of P100, the weekly savings could be P100, Castelo said.
Overall, the proposed 10/4 work week could mean weekly savings amounting to at least P20 billion for the over 20 million private sector workers and 1.5 million state employees.
According to Castelo, the advantages of the 10/4 work scheme far outweigh the disadvantages, as the 10/4 could provide the following:
- Greater morale and productivity for workers since he is not financially, physically, and mentally drained to attend to his work;
- The extended weekend would enable workers to spend greater time with their families, providing them the domestic stability;
- The extra day-off would enable workers to pursue other interest like learning or retooling themselves with new skills that would be necessary to the workplace;
- The additional day-off would also enable workers to pursue their hobbies and leisure. 30