CSC: Gov’t agencies won't operate at full capacity under modified ECQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) — Government agencies in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine will not operate at full capacity and it is up to their heads to choose the right work setup, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said.

CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada told CNN Philippines the heads of government agencies must determine the work arrangement best suited for the needs of their clients, without compromising the health and safety of their workers.

"If you are distributing staff, kayo ay binigyan na ‘yung house-to-house work, hindi mo magagawa ‘yun sa work-from-home, kayo ay kinakailangan sa field," Lizada said. "Hindi ho natin call, call ho ng Secretary ‘yun kung ano ‘yung need ng agency."

[Translation: If you are distributing staff, you were given house-to-house work, you cannot do that if you work from home, you are needed in the field. That is not our call, it is the call of the Secretary on what is needed by the agency.]

According to the CSC, government agencies may implement any or a combination of the five alternative work arrangements specified, which includes work-from-home, skeleton workforce, compressed four-day workweek, and staggered working hours.

"Meron po tayong mga guidelines and support systems for these work arrangements. If you do skeleton workforce, the barest minimum dapat ilagay," Lizada said. "Wag niyong gawin skeleton workforce ang senior citizens, ‘yung buntis."

[Translation: We have guidelines and support systems for these work arrangements. If you do skeleton workforce, the barest minimum should be implemented. Senior citizens and expecting mothers should not be part of the skeleton workforce.]

Lizada said the agency is circulating a health form that government workers must answer before being allowed to report to the office, while the physical layout of government offices will also have to be changed to keep with physical distancing rules.

"Within the agency, meron din silang [they also have] checks or sanitation systems," Lizada said. "Maybe this time you have washing stations outside, you have foot bath, temperature taking."

Meanwhile, government agencies in areas under general community quarantine may start operating at full capacity or continue implementing alternative work arrangements, depending on the head of the agency.

Lizada clarified that government offices serving clients will also have to implement physical distancing when operations resume.

"Hindi na pwede yung pila-pila yung mga tao, dikit-dikit yung mga silya because we need social distancing,” Lizada said. "Mukhang ‘yun na ang new normal, which is limiting face-to-face transactions. Kung pwede online, pupunta tayo online."

[Translation: Long lines where people are seated close together will no longer be allowed because we need social distancing. It looks like that will be the new normal, which is limiting face-to-face transactions. If we can do it online, we will go online.]

In the meantime, those who want to work in government may have to wait a bit longer as no new date has been set for the 2020 Civil Service exams.