Curfew hours eased, multiple work shifts allowed in the Philippines

A resident rides her bicycle past armed soldiers along a street in Navotas in suburban Manila on July 16 after the local government reimposed a lockdown in the city due to increased COVID-19 infections. Photo: CNN. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Oct 23, 2020, The Manila Times. Several government agencies shortened curfew hours in the country and approved multiple and staggered work shifts in a bid to further open up the economy, The Manila Times reported.

This was announced by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año through a joint advisory they signed on October 22 and released on Friday.

“As we gradually re-open the economy in increments mindful of the current hospital capacity threshold, local government units, where applicable, are enjoined to ease curfew hours, e.g., from midnight up to 4 a.m.,” they said.

The implementation of curfew hours — shortened from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. — shall be guided by the respective local ordinance, the secretaries added.

Meanwhile, business establishments are also advised to adopt multiple and staggered work shifts “to allow more workers to report to work but still maintaining the physical distancing requirements, to spread out the congestion on our roads, and to ease the demand for public transportation.”

Workers are to be allowed to adopt a work shift schedule starting at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and so on.

The agencies, however, still encouraged firms to implement work-from-home arrangements and other flexible workplace plans, if applicable to their operations.

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