MANILA, Philippines — Three government agencies worked together to come up with a joint circular, detailing guidelines that will greatly benefit job order and contract of service workers in the government.
Recently, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) announced they have amended Joint Circular No. 1.
Government agencies are now allowed to renew qualified contracts up to two more years or until December 31, 2020. Previously, renewal of individual contracts of existing contract of service or job workers was only until December 31, 2018.
The salaries of government contractual workers will also now be equivalent to the daily salary of those in comparable positions in government starting January 2019.
Contractual workers should also expect to receive a premium of up to 20 percent of the salary that may be paid in monthly, lump sum or in tranches depending on their government agency.
The amended circular also provides that qualified existing contract of service and job order workers shall be considered for appointment to vacant positions of government agencies. This will be subject to existing civil service laws, rules and regulations, and merit selection plans approved by the CSC.
This is welcome news for contractual worker Adrian Mendizabal who has been serving as an information officer of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for more than two years now.
Aside from job extension, he is also set to receive better pay. However, Adrian laments the vast difference of this rule from the benefits given to a regular employee.
“Yun po wala po kaming protection wala kaming benepisyo saka mahirap pong po wala din kaming bonus,” said BFAR job order worker Adrian Mendizabal.
The Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) also considers this amended circular a triumph for workers. But the group admits this is still not enough to address the contractualization scheme in the country.
“Para sa amin po, isang tagumpay ito bagama’t hindi lubusan dahil after two year itutuloy pa rin yung agency hiring,” said Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines national president Manny Baclagon.
The group notes there are more than 700,000 government contractual workers across the country which leads them to question the administration’s campaign and order for private firms to regularize their workers.
“Kung tutuusin gobyerno ang pinakaunang violator ng contractualization sa ating bansa dahil siya ang may pinakamaraming bilang ng mga kontraktual na manggagawa,” said Baclagon.
Government contractual workers also worry that if they were not regularized by December 2020, they would have to deal with a third party agency to outsource their service. — JL Asayo | UNTV News & Rescue