Transport Woes Under GCQ: What You Can Do

Back to your regular office work this general community quarantine (GCQ)? What you expect to see may not match the reality outside. Public transportation is too limited so the chances of you commuting smoothly to work are rare. This is among the transport woes under GCQ most Filipinos bear. Hence, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) stepped in and advised employers on what they should do this GCQ.

DOLE encouraged employers and employees to discuss work arrangements in view of the struggle experienced by employees who commute to work this GCQ. In an interview, DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay stated that work arrangements where employees can work at the comfort of their homes can still be talked through since public transportation is also limited in GCQ. He also advised employers to consider the health risks their workers have to face just to get to work.

Here are some flexible work arrangement ideas from DOLE that you can discuss with your employer.

1. Compressed Workweek

Workweek is reduced to less than six (6) days, moving the working hours of the removed days to the compressed work schedule. Working time must not exceed 12 hours per day or 48 hours per week.

2. Reduction of Workdays

Workdays are simply reduced. Unfortunately, in this setting, if you don’t go to work, you’ll get no pay.

3. Rotation of Workers

Workers are alternately provided work within the workweek. This will rid you of stress caused by your daily commute.

4. Forced Leave

Workers are allowed to utilize their remaining leaves to rest and stay at home. There are lots of activities to do to maximize your leaves. From joining free fitness classes to learning new skills—everything is available if you look for it.

5. Broken-time Schedule

Work schedule is not continuous and can be broken down. However, the work hours are fixed and must be completed.

6. Flexible Holidays

Employees can avail their existing holiday leaves and benefits. 

View the detailed list of these recommendations from DOLE.

These flexible work arrangements can uphold the work-life balance of both employers and employees. By working at home, employees will benefit from being safe and close to their families. Employers will also enjoy the advantage of retaining qualified employees while saving money and resources. These arrangements suggested by DOLE indeed provide a win-win situation for both parties.

However, if you’re told by your employer that commuting to work is still a must, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that sanitary measures will be strictly enforced. Below are the compulsory measures you need to know.

  • Face masks must be worn all the time
  • No-contact transactions are enforced—especially cashless transactions
  • Physical distancing must always be observed
  • Thermal scanners, alcohol, and sanitizers must always be present and available
  • Disinfection of public utility vehicles (PUVs) must be done regularly; and
  • Decontamination facilities in various public transport terminals are required.

Knowing these measures will help you, as a commuter, abide properly into the guidelines implemented. 

Indeed, band-aid solutions won’t fix the country’s problem in public transportation. It’s been proven that, with or without a crisis, public transportation is an important aspect of the Filipinos’ lives and must not be overlooked. It’s too ironic that this time, we’re not stressed by the traffic caused by too many public vehicles—we’re stressed by the lack of it. So, while you can, talk it out with your employer. Maybe now is the right time to ask for something that both you and your employer will benefit from.

Photo by Eldon Vince Isidro on Unsplash

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