FULLY aware of the predicament of thousands of state workers who have been serving for the longest time without being given permanent status despite meeting qualifications, presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said that it’s about time that the government pays attention to their plight.
According to Marcos, he feels sorry for government employees who have spent the best years of their lives in public service and yet continued to be classified as contract employees or job-order workers.
Marcos explained that regularization is a major issue not just for the private sector, but it has long been a concern also for those working in the government, “because some of them are only hired through job orders or contracts of service for one reason or another”.
Currently, there are around 600,000 to 700,000 job order workers in the government, even as there are about 180,000 ‘unfilled’ plantilla positions.
“May 180,000 unfilled plantillas kaya unahin natin iyong punuin at ayusin tapos silang mga JO workers sa national at LGUs ay sisikapin din nating ma-regular nang naaayon sa pondo ng pamahalaan at itinatadhana ng batas,” Marcos said.
Many government job order workers especially those with the local government units were earning only around P10,000 per month without enjoying the benefits and other perks that come with being on permanent status.
The current minimum wage in Metro Manila is P537 per day which is still comparatively low and could barely keep a family of five live decently, considering the high cost of living in the National Capital Region.
“Iyong minimum wage nga natin mababa na, tapos mayroon pa palang mas mababa diyan at ang masaklap sila pa iyong nagsisilbi sa bayan bilang mga manggagawa ng pamahalaan,” said Marcos.
“Hindi ko lubos maisip kung paano nakakaraos ang ating mga JO workers ngayon. Aayusin natin iyan para naman maging masaya rin ang kanilang pamilya,” he added.
Aside from lower salaries, casual and job-order workers often do not receive benefits such as Christmas bonuses and 13th month pays that regular or permanent employees get.
Marcos said he intends to propose a legislation that state workers who consistently receive “excellent performance evaluations” for at least three consecutive years be given the chance to be hired as permanents.
“Kung maganda naman ang kanilang rekord sa trabaho at consistent ang outstanding performance ratings, baka puwede na silang gwing regular kahit wala pang kaukulang eligibility,” said Marcos.