The Civil Service Commission (CSC) notes the new resolution of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metro Manila Council (MMC) to adopt the flexible working schedule for public servants in local government units (LGUs) in the metro as a temporary solution to traffic congestion.

In a statement, CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles noted that the implementation of a modified working schedule from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for officials and employees in LGUs is consistent with the Policy on Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) issued by the CSC for agencies and government workers nationwide.

“The CSC's policy on FWA has influenced at least 499 agencies to adopt internal guidelines by end of December 2023, but we need more agencies to follow suit, especially in Metro Manila. This new development from the MMDA, with the support of the MMC and local officials, is crucial in improving the welfare of civil servants in LGUs, especially those who do not own cars and commute to work every day,” he said.

According to the CSC’s latest Inventory of Government Human Resources, the National Capital Region has the largest number of government workers in the country, with 440,009 or 22.30% of career and non-career personnel.

“The prevailing traffic conditions in the metro not only hinder their mobility but also impact their productivity, particularly for those who commute daily. By adopting the FWA, we can enhance their efficiency and safeguard their health, safety, and welfare,” said the CSC Chairperson.

However, the CSC reminded government agencies and LGUs that their chosen FWAs must be implemented without compromising the continuous delivery of public service, especially for offices with frontline services.

“We are open to recommendations from government agencies and other stakeholders as we craft people-centric solutions, especially those that will address transport problems, but what remains paramount is ensuring uninterrupted delivery of services to the citizenry”, added Chairperson Nograles.

Pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 2200209 promulgated on 18 May 2022, the Commission adopted CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 6, s. 2022 on 2 June 2022, or the Policies on FWAs in the Government, to institutionalize relevant work arrangements and practices brought about by the changing needs and conditions of the workforce.

In February 2024, the CSC also issued an advisory to reiterate the policy and the various forms of FWAs that government agencies may implement to ensure organizational agility, resiliency, and public service continuity, recognizing that traditional rigid office settings are prone to disruptions and hinder productivity. 

Under CSC MC No. 6, government agencies have the option to implement any of the following FWAs to facilitate support mechanisms for government officials and employees.

First would be the Flexiplace, which is an output-oriented work arrangement that allows government officials or employees to work at a location outside their office for a temporary period, subject to approval from the head of the office/agency. This arrangement includes working from home, satellite offices, or other predetermined fixed locations.

Work shifting, on the other hand, is a work arrangement for offices or agencies mandated by law to operate continuously for 24 hours every day, or those required to adhere to workplace health and safety protocols. Agencies may establish flexible working hours for its officials and employees from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily while ensuring compliance with the mandatory 40-hour workweek.

Additionally, the compressed workweek condenses the standard 40-hour workweek spread across five days into four days or fewer, depending on feasibility for government officials or employees.

Meanwhile, skeleton workforce pertains to a work set-up where a minimal number of officials or employees are required to report to office and provide service during periods when full staffing is not feasible.

Lastly, agencies have the flexibility to combine any of the above-mentioned FWAs as deemed appropriate or necessary according to the agency's mandate and functions. ###