PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte promised to end the hiring of contractual workers but lawmakers on Monday claimed that the government itself is implementing the illegal labor practice.
Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro of Alliance of Concerned Teachers said Joint Circular 1 issued by the Civil Service Commission allows government agencies to hire personnel on Contracts of Service (COS) and Job Orders (JO) or contractual basis.
Since the CSC, Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) have no guidelines governing contracts of service and job orders, as of July 2016, there were 595,162 contractual workers in government, Tinio said.
“The government is already the biggest user of contractual workers, and the CSC circular further allows government agencies to hire personnel on COSs and JOs until end of 2018,” the lawmaker added.
Castro lamented that the CSC circular did not state a commitment to create new positions for these contractual workers.
“The said circular has loopholes that will pave the way for government agencies to continue hiring COS and JO workers even for regular functions and duties of the agency. The prospect of ending contractualization in the public sector is now far-fetched,” Castro said. “This will only lengthen the suffering of workers who are deprived of job security, decent salaries, and benefits.”
Provision 7.1 of the CSC circular permits hiring through COS if it is “impractical or more expensive for the government agency to directly undertake the service provided by the individual or institutional contractor” and for “support services” such as “janitorial, security, driving, data encoding, equipment and grounds maintenance and other services that support the day to day operations of the agency.”
Provision 7.2, on the other hand, allows agencies to hire JOs for “emergency or intermittent work, and manual tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, and the like which are not part of the regular functions of the agency.”
“Job security and decent wages are the number one cry of the Filipino people. We call on the Duterte administration to fulfill his promise to end contractualization. We urge CSC, COA and DBM to amend the joint circular to ensure that the guidelines will really end endo rather than assure its continued proliferation,” Tinio said.