More roads, telecommuting pushed as traffic solutions

IMPROVE coordination and build more roads.

This was what business leaders asked the government following the declaration of a traffic crisis in Cebu by the Provincial Board (PB) on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7, on the other hand, urged the private sector to adopt telecommuting at work to help their employees cope with the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Cebu.

Dole 7 Director Salome Siaton sees telecommuting as a way to help lessen road congestion especially in the key cities of Cebu where economic activities and the influx of workers are concentrated.

Telecommuting allows employees to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and computer technologies, as provided for in Republic Act 11165 or the “Telecommuting Act.”

Dole said, though, that there should be a set of clearly defined guidelines and rules that would govern its implementation in various companies.

Siaton said there has to be a telecommuting program in place before any telecommuting work arrangement is allowed and implemented by companies.

She said companies may offer a telecommuting program to its employees on a voluntary basis or as a result of collective bargaining agreement but must ensure that telecommuting employees are given the same treatment as that of laborers working at their employers’ premises.

“It is imperative that both the employer and the employees express mutual consent to the implementation of a telecommuting work arrangement based on a telecommuting program of the company,” she said.

Companies interested to adopt and implement a telecommuting work arrangement are mandated to notify the Dole by submitting an accomplished prescribed report form.

For his part, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Stanley Go said the province should have a uniform approach to the traffic problem.

Go said local government units should craft an integrated strategy that should be implemented in every city and municipality. “The (implementation of) ordinances and rules and regulations of the different cities has to be a joint strategy between cities... a standardized connectivity,” he said.

Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club, said the declaration of a traffic crisis is “long overdue.”

He said there should be long-term solutions such as the opening of more roads and improving of traffic systems across Metro Cebu. JOB, CSL


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