Press Release
October 15, 2019

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the traffic crisis in Cebu

The declaration of a traffic crisis in Cebu by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan should allow the provincial government to take drastic steps to mitigate its impact in the short term while authorities seek to formulate and implement sustainable solutions to the problem. After all, economic opportunities lost in traffic cost Cebu an estimated P1.1 billion a day in 2018, according to a study of Japan International Coordination Agency.

We urge provincial authorities, especially the DOLE Regional Office-7, to ramp up the awareness on the Telecommuting Law or Republic Act No. 11165, which encourages the private sector to develop and implement telecommuting work arrangements with their employees. While it may not be the magic pill that will resolve the traffic situation, we believe that the impact of the law will help reduce the need of workers to travel to their places of work, thereby easing the demand in public transport in the short term.

Telecommuting allows workers to maintain their productivity with the lesser time they allot to travel from one place to another. The law's implementing rules and regulations mandate that the DOLE undertake a study to identify jobs which can be fulfilled under a telecommuting work arrangment. The study will help guide employers as they consider implementing their own telecommuting policies in their office.

For those companies that have existing telecommuting policies, we urge them to notify the DOLE Regional Office which has jurisdiction to ensure that these are compliant with existing labor laws and regulations.

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