The Philippines is considering earlier work hours for government offices to ease traffic congestion in the capital that has worsened as virus restrictions eased.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, which sets policies on traffic in the capital region, asked President Rodrigo Duterte to move government work an hour earlier to a 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift.

This will allow state workers to avoid the rush hour, the body’s chairman Romando Artes said at a televised briefing late Tuesday.

A four-day work week of 10 hours each day can also be implemented, Artes said, echoing an earlier proposal from Economic Planning Secretary Karl Chua. Pending a study on overtime pay required by law, an alternative proposal is to allow workers to work from home once a week to help lessen the number of vehicles on the road, Artes said.

Traffic jams have returned in the capital following the easing of movement restrictions as Covid-19 infections subside.

The governing body in charge of the capital region also presented a proposal to build elevated walkways and bicycle lanes to encourage workers to walk or use bikes on their way to work. Duterte whose term ends in June wants the proposals to be studied. — Bloomberg

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