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New circular to allow more endo in government -solons

10 July 2017 No Comment
ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro slammed the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for issuing a circular that allows government agencies to hire personnel on Contracts of Service (COS) and Job Orders (JOs) instead of ending contractualization in the public sector.
The three agencies issued Joint Circular # 1, entitled ‘Rules and Regulations Governing Contracts of Service and Job Order Workers in the Government,’ dated June 15, 2017.
“It is about time that CSC, COA and DBM release guidelines governing contracts of service and job orders in government after their silence allowed the number of JO and COS workers to balloon to up to 595,162 as of July 2016, making government the biggest user of endo workers. However, instead of ending endo in government, the circular further allows government agencies to hire personnel on COSs and JOs until end of 2018,” Tinio said.
“Along with his campaign promise to end contractualization in the private sector, the prospect of ending contractualization in the public sector is now far-fetched with the guidelines. In the circular, there is no commitment on the part of DBM that it will create new positions that will give COS and JO workers regular positions. Instead, the said circular contains 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,” Castro said.  “This will only lengthen the suffering of workers who are deprived of job security, decent salaries, and benefits.”
One loophole is Provision 7.1 that 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.”
Another is Provision 7.2 that 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.”
“In experience and also because of the lack of sufficient number of items for regular positions, these loopholes are already used as excuse to hire COS and JO personnel for vital and day-to-day functions, such as Department of Social Welfare and Development’s staff implementing the 4Ps, ’emergency instructors’ in state universities and colleges, data encoders in the Philippine Statistics Authority and various divisions in government offices, and cleaning and maintenance staff. Of course, it will always be ‘too expensive’ for the government to create permanent positions for these, and cheaper to just use janitorial, security, and other agency-provided personnel rather than provide for their regular salaries and benefits,” Castro added.
The solons also noted that the joint circular encourages widespread government personnel outsourcing via “institutional contract of service” or contracts between government agencies and contractors or service providers for janitorial, security, consultancy, and other support services.
“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 ended.”###

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