MANILA, Philippines – Voting 17-0, the Senate approved on Monday (May 20) a bill allowing Filipino employees to render services with shorter workweek arrangement.
Filed by Senator Joel Villanueva, the proposed measure on compressed workweek arrangement allows employees to opt out of the regular eight-hours-five-days-per-week schedule.
Instead, employees may choose to enter into an agreement with the employers as long as it is a “mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement”.
Specifically, employees may prefer to work for a fewer number of days in a week but with longer hours as long as they meet the required workweek load of 40 hours, although the law upholds the 48-hour work limit per week.
Even with the a mutually agreed work schedule, employees will still be entitled to the existing company benefits.
With Senate approving the bill, it is now for submission to the Office of the President for signing to be enacted into law. – Marje Pelayo
The Poe family commemorated the 80th birthday of Fernando Poe Jr. on Tuesday (Aug 20) at the Manila North Cemetery.
They also distributed grocery packs and toys to some 200 indigent families.
Senator Grace Poe is still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their family.
“Kakaiba talaga ito kasi 15 taon na. Umulan o umaraw, halos hindi pa rin natitinag iyong mga nagmamahal kay FPJ (It is still overwhelming because it has been 15 years. Rain or shine, their love for FPJ is still there),” she said.
Lovi Poe, meanwhile, posted old photos of her father on her insta-story.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed his support to the resolution filed by Senators Franklin Drilon and Panfilo Lacson to allow Senator Leila de Lima to join them in the plenary session thru teleconferencing.
Lacson said they have ready equipment for that purpose.
It is the same equipment that the Senate used during then-Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s term when Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was allowed to join the Senate sessions while in detention.
Once the resolution is approved, De Lima will be able to interpellate in the plenary and file her proposed amendments on existing laws.
De Lima, however, will not be allowed to vote as Senate rules dictate that a senator must be physically present in the plenary to vote.
The lady senator, nevertheless, considered this news a welcome development.
“Great news! Answered prayers. I’ve been longing to be given such privilege so I can more meaningfully fulfill my mandate,” she said.
De Lima’s camp said they still need to seek clearance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for this.
Atty. Raymond Baguilat, De Lima’s counsel, said: “Ang rules ng PNP regarding sa mga tao sa custodial ayun nga, bawal ang electronic gadget. So, lahat yan kailangan ng approval ng PNP so iaakyat yan kay Gen. Albayalde [Among the PNP’s rules regarding personalities in the custodial facility is that electronic gadgets are not allowed. So, we need the approval of the PNP and this has to be elevated to Gen. Albayalde].”
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson Dante Jimenez, however, is doubtful that this will be allowed by the court.
“I’m pretty sure the court will deny that,” Jimenez said.
The Senate Committee on Rules said that it still has to study the resolution before they present it to the plenary for the senators to deliberate and vote on. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The Senate seeks to investigate reports that Chinese investors are planning to develop the Fuga Island in the province of Cagayan and the islands of Grande and Chiquita in Zambales.
In a statement, Senator Risa Hontiveros said she is wondering why the government allowed these movements despite China’s alleged bullying practices in the West Philippine Sea.
She added that these islands are no ordinary islands as they have an important role in the military’s history.
“Amid China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea, it is baffling that the Duterte government allowed this to happen. These are no ordinary islands. These parcels of land are strategic maritime fronts that play a significant role in our military history, which only proves how invaluable they are to our national security,” the senator’s statement reads.
Senator Panfile Lacson also pointed, “security concerns dahil kung Chinese investors ang magde-develop at yung proximity dun sa mga facilities. Lalo’t may report na lumabas na yung western command in Palawan merong allegedly Chinese tourists na kumukuha ng pictures so anong intention [security concerns because if Chinese investors will the ones to develop (these islands) and their proximity is in (our military) facilities. Especially now that the Western Command in Palawan has reported that there is an alleged Chinese tourists taking pictures, on what intention]?”
Aside from the three islands, the Senate may possibly discuss the development of the 32-hectare lot of Island Cove Resort in Kawit, Cavite that is to be used by the Philippine Off Shore Gaming Operator (POGO) industry.
This is only several kilometers away from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) air and naval bases. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
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