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ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro on the approval of House Bill 5707 or the Government Rightsizing Bill

26 July 2017 No Comment

PRESS STATEMENT

26 July 2017

 

ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro on the approval of House Bill 5707 or the Government Rightsizing Bill

 

We condemn the approval of HB 5707 for the rightsizing of national government agencies as this will be no different from the rationalization schemes of past administrations which caused untold damages to government workers and to public service.  Instead of answering the just demand of government employees and workers for salary increase and regularization, government through rightsizing will only effect massive layoffs, retrenchment, and displacement, and worsen contractualization.  The proponents including the DBM admitted that 16% of the 1.6 million total government positions—or 255,295 state workers—will be affected in the first year alone.

 

Rightsizing will further deteriorate public services since necessary personnel complement in frontline offices will be thinned.  Those who will remain in government service, including teaching and medical positions which allegedly “will not be affected,” will not be spared as they will be forced to shoulder heavier workloads.  Government agencies will hire more and more personnel on contracts of service (COS) and job orders (JO) who will not be considered as government employees and will not be paid the salaries and job security as such.  After the previous rationalization programs and the imposition of freeze hiring, we have seen an unprecedented increase in JO and COS workers.  Their number has already reached 595,192 by 2016, and this will increase even more with DBM-CSC-COA Joint Circular # 1, or the new rules and regulations governing the hiring on COSs and JOs.

 

Lastly, rightsizing is part of the continuing neoliberal policy framework of cutbacks on government social spending and attacks on jobs and job security and public sector union rights.

 

Instead of firing people, what the Duterte administration has to do to are to adequately fund its programs, fill up vacancies, and create more plantilla positions.  Instead of removing regular employees, it should give tenure to non-regular employees and provide for their benefits.

 

We call on all government workers and employees and the rest of the people to express outrage against this latest addition of anti-people measures and policies of the Duterte administration. ###

 

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