Solon blasts unchecked contractualization of gov’t workers under Aquino administration


12 August 2015
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Government workers on job orders (JOs) and contracts of service (COSs) grew by 64% in just two years, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio revealed, resulting in gross violations of labor rights and heightened politicization of the civil service.

At the hearings for the 2016 CSC and COA budgets, Tinio expressed alarm that the practice of hiring ofJOs and COSs has become rampant under Aquino’s watch.  Per CSC data, job order workers ballooned to 337,948 in 2014 from 206,120 in 2012, or a 64% increase in just two years. The lawmaker noted that they now comprise 20% of the country’s 1.7 million government work force. He added that such contractual workers may be found in national government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges, as well as local government units, and include public school teachers, college professors, and doctors and nurses in public hospitals.

He scored the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Audit (COA) for failing to to issue rules and guidelines on the hiring of contractual personnel. “Their failure to issue such guidelines has enabled both the national and local governments to turn to highly exploitative contractual labor arrangements for their staffing needs, undermining the very essence of a professional civil service.”

“These civil servants perform the duties of regular employees but have no employer-employee relationship with government, have no security of tenure, and are paid far less than their regular counterparts,” lamented Tinio.  “They serve the public everyday without social security benefits like GSIS, without the assurance that they will still have work tomorrow or the following month.”

“We are much alarmed that, in just two years, the Aquino administration more than doubled the number of state workers under exploited conditions.  With this practice, it created a civil service made up not of adequately paid professionals but of individuals serving at the pleasure of politicians and agency heads.”

“The practice of hiring on contractuals has resulted in the further entrenchment of patronage politics and corrupt practices such as the proliferation of ghost employees in government offices,” stressed Tinio.

Tinio said that government is failing in its constitutional mandate to protect the labor rights of government workers and to ensure a civil service insulated from politics.

Tinio called on the CSC and COA to immediately issue guidelines to limit the use of job orders and contracts of service by government offices. “This should include a clear prohibition on the use of job orders to hire personnel who will be performing the duties of regular employees.”

Tinio added that he will argue for more funds for the creation of new positions, on top of the 87,000 already set aside in the 2016 budget. ###