Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, March 24, 2005

4-day week in govt from April to May

A change in lifestyle of government employees.

The government will shorten the work week starting next month to conserve energy in light of soaring world oil prices.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo approved the four-day work week for all government agencies during a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority board in Malacañang Tuesday night.

Higher consumption

“The four-day work week will be for two months starting April until end-May, when our electricity consumption tends to rise,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla told reporters in a separate press conference.

April and May are the hottest months that call for increasing the use of air conditioners, electric fans and other cooling devices.

Lotilla said government employees will still put in 40 hours a week despite the shortened work week. The Department of Budget and Management will announce details next week.

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said the government will undertake appropriate measures to ensure that the scheme does not prejudice the public and essential services are delivered.

Austerity in August

In August, Ms. Arroyo launched an energy conservation program that includes limited use of air conditioners and government vehicles.

Lotilla said the shortened work week will result in at least 10 percent savings in electricity and fuel as well as the expenses of government employees.

“As a rule of thumb, our total demand for power increases by 100 megawatts when the weather becomes hotter by one degree Celsius, or an additional consumption of 125 barrels per hour,” Lotilla said.

The four-day work week will enable employees to save on transport and incidental expenses while giving more quality time to their families, he said.


Lotilla pointed out that conservation measures are being strictly implemented at the energy department. Energy saving measures, like setting air conditioners to low cool between 12 noon and 1 p.m. and turning them off by 4 p.m. and putting out lights and computers between 12 noon and 1 p.m., saved the department some P1.4 million from September to December last year.

Efficient use of department vehicles also reduced consumption by 4,271 liters of fuel or savings of more than P114,000 during the period, Lotilla said

“For each of us, it will require a change in our lifestyle, in the way we do things. Government has set the example. Let’s make energy conservation a way of life,” he said.


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