Metro Manila workers give mix comments on work schedule shift

A Quezon City hall employee processing local business permits. (PIA-NCR file) 

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) — Local government officials and employees across Metro Manila are expressing cautious optimism about the Metro Manila Council’s (MMC) recent resolution mandating a shift in working hours from the traditional 8a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule to 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a welcome change that could work,” said a 12-year veteran in the Quezon City local government. 

“The persistent traffic in Metro Manila has been a huge burden, both for commuters like myself. Adjusting our hours can, perhaps, make a real difference,” he added.

Under the MMC resolution passed February 28, all LGUs in Metro Manila are required to adopt the new 7 a.m.  to 4 p.m. work schedule, effective April 15. 

The move is aimed at easing road congestion by staggering the influx of workers during peak hours.

“Instead of everyone coming in at 8 a.m. and leaving at 5 p.m., this shift may help spread out the volume of vehicles on the roads,” explained an administrative officer in the Pasig City government. 

“It may not solve the traffic problem entirely, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

While some employees expressed optimism, some have initial concerns about adjusting their daily routines.

“The premise of moving LGU work hours in NCR will contribute to easing traffic in Metro Manila is not grounded on anything,” said an LGU employee.

“The majority of LGU employees commute and do not own private vehicles. So, are we reducing the volume of cars in major thoroughfares with this move?” she added.

“I used to dread the long hours stuck in traffic, sometimes taking 2-3 hours just to get home,” shared an engineer from Caloocan. 

“With the new schedule, I’m not convinced that I will be able to avoid the rush hour and spend less time on the road.”

Moreover, beyond the personal conveniences, local government workers also recognized the wider implications for public service delivery.

Having our offices open earlier will allow us to serve citizens also earlier,” noted a social welfare officer in Manila. 

“Residents who come early won’t have to wait as long to access our frontline services,” she added.

The MMC resolution also strongly encourages national government agencies within Metro Manila to adopt the adjusted work hours, further amplifying the potential impact.

As the April 15 implementation date approaches, Metro Manila’s local government employees are preparing to embrace the change, hopeful that it will not only ease their own commuting burdens but also contribute to the collective goal of decongesting the capital region’s streets. (JEG/PIA-NCR)

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