Today's Punto
Today's Punto
47,681 ‘temporary’ gov’t workers in CL face unemployment by 2019
By Ding Cervantes

Nov 09, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Civil Service Commission (CSC) said yesterday a total of 47,681 job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) government personnel in the region stand to lose their jobs by January, 2019.

In the Talk Widus forum of the Pampanga Press Club at the Widus Hotel and Casino here, CSC Pampanga Field Office chief Dulce Cochon said this would be in compliance with a recently issued Joint Circular No. 1, s. 2017 of the CSC, the Commission on Audit and the Department of Budget and Management.

The circular protects the rights of JO and COS workers, while also stressing that their employment should be merely based on temporary projects. Most JO and COS workers, however, have been working for various government offices for years, even decades.

“We are encouraging them to get civil service eligibilities since they would be prioritized for regular employment in the agencies where they work, but only if there are vacant plantilla positions in the agencies,” she said.

Otherwise, they would have to go. Cochon stressed that the joint circular limits the engagement of services of JO and COS workers only for temporary projects or activities.

The CSC defines COS as “the engagement of the services of an individual, private firm, other government agency, non-governmental agency or international organization as consultant, learning service provider or technical expert to undertake special project or job within a specific period.”

On the other hand, JO is defined as “piece work (pakyaw) or intermittent or emergency jobs such as clearing of debris on the roads, canals, waterways, etc. after natural/man-made disasters/ occurrences and other manual/trades and crafts services such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical and the like. These jobs are of short duration and for a specific piece of work.”

Cochon noted that the joint circular mandates compliance of all government agencies nationwide effective January, 2019, as their current JO and COS personnel no longer fall under such temporary categories.

“In Central Luzon alone, a total of 47,681 personnel work under JO or COS status,” she noted.

CSC records showed that of the total of 47,681 JO and COS workers, 14,865 are in Pampanga, 9,078 in Nueva Ecija, 8,742 in Bulacan, 5,507 in Zambales, 3,807 in Tarlac, 3,509 in Bataan, and 2,176 in Aurora. She also noted that of 149,518 plantilla positions in national and local government agencies in Central Luzon, a total of 11,418 positions have remained vacant and could be filled up by JO and COS who could qualify by January, 2019 when their posts are abolished.

Some could be rehired, but only for specific time-framed temporary projects. Despite the temporary nature of their work, however, the joint circular provides for the protection of their rights “by defining the fair wages that should be paid to said individuals.”

The circular provides that COS workers shall be paid the prevailing market rates, while services of JO workers shall be paid an amount equivalent to the daily wage or salary of comparable positions in government, plus a premium of up to 20 percent.

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