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Directive imposes 64-hour work schedule on executive branch

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ASIDE from public health protection, financial recovery also remains at the top of his administration’s efforts, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said in his directive imposing a 64-hour work schedule and cost containment on the executive branch.

According to Directive 2020-002, business hours will be cut for executive departments and agencies will be closed every Friday beginning March 20, 2020 until further notice.

The implementation of the 64-hour work schedule will begin on March 15.

His directive, the governor said, “shall be observed by all locally funded and federally funded government employees, both civil service and excepted service under the executive branch.”

“While I recognize that certain offices and/or functions may be required to adopt a modified 64-hour work schedule to meet certain needs and requirements, written requests must be submitted to my office and must be approved before any modified 64-hour work schedule may be implemented,” the governor added.

In view of the revised schedule of government operations, he said all affected departments and agencies must ensure that “necessary actions” are taken to ensure that their respective staff members report for duty in accordance with the directive.

“The reduction of work hours was a very difficult decision for the lt. governor and I to make but it is necessary in order to avoid more drastic options that would have more severe impacts on government employees and their families,” Torres said. “Financial recovery remains at the top of our efforts so that we can eventually revert back to a normal 80-hour work schedule.”

He said his administration understands that the cost containment measures will have an impact on public operations and services, “but we must remain proactive in our approach by realigning government spending with available resources.”

Torres said it is “imperative that we work collaboratively to examine operations and activities and identify areas that can be reduced.”

Under the present economic and fiscal constraints, the governor said, “Ensuring that the government is able to continue providing essential public services and avoid layoffs will require all of us to be proactive and financially prudent.”

In the meantime, he said, “Please use the government resources within your departments conservatively. Encourage your employees to find ways to save money. Share your and your employees’ ideas on how to save money with other employees, departments, agencies, and with me and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios. Continue to find ways to save. Any saving helps all of us get out of austerity.”

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