DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Two militant lawmakers hit out the joint circular issued by the Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, and Department of Budget and Management, saying that it allows labor contractualization instead of ending it in the public sector.
The joint circular allows government agencies to hire personnel on Contracts of Service and Job Orders, according to ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro.
The three agencies—CSC, COA and DBM— issued Joint Circular # 1, entitled “Rules and Regulations Governing Contracts of Service and Job Order Workers in the Government,” dated June 15.
Tinio said that instead of ending “endo” in the government, “the circular further allows government agencies to hire personnel on COSs and JOs until end of 2018.”
He said that the number of JO and COS workers balloon up to 595,162 as of July 2016, “making government the biggest user of endo workers.”
Castro, meanwhile, said with the issuance of the joint circular, “the prospect of ending contractualization in the public sector is now far-fetched with the guidelines.”
The lawmaker added that 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.
She said this will lengthen the suffering of workers who are deprived of job security, decent salaries, and benefits.
The lawmakers, in particular, identified Provision 7.1 as a “loophole” because it 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.”
Also, 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 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,” Castro said.
She added that it will always be “too expensive” for the government to create permanent positions.
The lawmakers 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.
“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,” the lawmakers said.(davaotoday.com)