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Rights at Work

Public sector plays a vital role in providing basic social services to the population and the government itself. However, the continuous threat of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 poses effects not only on the government’s frontline services but also to the public servants who are likely to be exposed to contracting COVID-19 as most government agencies started going back to traditional work arrangement. The survey intended to provide a descriptive analysis of the implementation alternative work arrangement in government offices during the community quarantine of March 2020 and June 2021.

An online survey was disseminated to the members of Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK-PUBLIK) from 08-16 December 2021 and covers rank-and-file career and non-career personnel. The data collected were analyzed based on the thematic areas of the survey: implementation of alternative work arrangements (AWAs) in government offices; eligibility of employees to work from home (WFH); WFH practices; and perception of employees on telecommuting. The findings show that majority of the agencies adapted work from home arrangement, but many of their employees were still required to report to the offices even during the community quarantine. Most of the respondents implied having a designated workstation and infrastructure at home. And while most of respondents stated that they work not more than eight hours a day, a fraction of the respondents indicated that there are instances of working for at least 10 hours a day, especially the female employees. Agencies also based the employee’s eligibility to WFH on their job function and usage and relevance of technology to the nature of their jobs. Despite the challenges in the implementation of WFH, majority of the respondents perceived that telecommuting implementation in government service is a favorable idea considering the current landscape of Philippine workforce. As one of the major economic contributors in terms of consumption and expenditure, digital governance may seem to be a viable alternative for the public sector to continuously provide a quality public service for the Filipino people. This analysis may aide the policy makers in reviewing the current implementation of alternative work arrangements in government offices and to further evaluate the institutionalization of work-from-home and telecommuting in the public sector.

KEYWORDS: alternative work arrangements, work from home, public sector, telecommuting
RESEARCHER: Franchesca Rose S. Castillo

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