Issue of September 2, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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200 CH workers may turn jobless
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

More than 200 hundred job order employees of the city government will be affected once the joint circular that provides the rules on the payment of services under individual contract of service and job order becomes effective by Jan. 1, 2019.

These employees, according to City Assistant Human Resource Officer Edith Dawaten, include those under the Public Order and Safety Division of the City Mayor’s Office; the Roadside Inspection, Testing and Monitoring Team or RITMT who implement air quality regulations, those handling the maintenance of Burnham Park, and those under the Information Technology Division who prepare programs for the improvement of dispensation of city services.

“It would really be difficult to end their services, so we really hope that the matter will be discussed by concerned officials. We hope their services would not end because the city needs them,” Dawaten said during the City Hall forum on Aug. 28.

She said they are also concerned about what will happen to these employees once their services are not renewed. “Where will they go after they will become jobless?”

Councilor Joel Alangsab, chair of the city council committee on ethics, governmental affairs, and personnel, shared the same opinion, though he said they will still have to see its real impact to know what actions to take.

“That imposition on job order employees is difficult to implement. We have to wait and see what will happen. We are concerned about who will then assist us in enforcing our laws,” Alangsab said in the same forum.

In the case of police auxiliaries who have been assisting the Baguio City Police Office, the councilor said most of them will not qualify once civil service rules and required qualifications are applied.

Kawawa naman po sila, so ito ang dilemma ng ating siyudad, how are we going to deal with the people who have been very loyal and working for the city government,” Alangsab added.

He added that services of national government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development will also be adversely affected because these agencies have been employing the COS or JOs’ services.

In Joint Circular 1, s. 2017 rules and regulations governing contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) workers signed by the Civil Service Commission with the Commission on Audit and the Department of Budget and Management, the national government stressed that hiring under COS shall be limited to consultants, learning service providers, and/or other technical experts to undertake a special project or job within a specific period and that the project or job is not part of the regular functions of the agency, or the expertise is not available in the agency, or it is impractical or more expensive for the government agency to directly undertake the service provided by the individual or institutional contractor.

Hiring of JO workers, on the other hand, shall be limited to emergency or intermittent work, such as clearing of debris on the roads, canals, waterways, etc. after natural/man-made disasters/occurrences; other trades and crafts, and manual tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, and the like which are not part of the regular functions of the agency.

COS and JO workers should not, in any case, be made to perform functions which are part of the job description of the agency’s existing regular employees, and should not be designated to positions exercising control or supervision over regular and career employees.

The circular addresses issues on the lack of social protection of workers and inequality in benefits and the obscure accountability of COS and JO workers due to lack of employee-employer relationship with the hiring agency.

It covers all national government agencies, government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, state universities and colleges, and constitutional bodies, which avail of the services of COS and JO workers.

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