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Non-regular state workers get reprieve

April 25, 2024 People's Journal 64 views

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has extended the engagement of contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) workers in government whose contracts will expire in December this year.

President Marcos made the decision during a sectoral meeting with the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Government, Civil Service Commission and Commission on Audit in Malacañang on Wednesday.

The Chief Executive also instructed government agencies to develop the skills and capabilities of COS and JO workers by reeducating and training them with the help of higher learning institutions and enabling them to pass the civil service examination.

The goal is to build a pool of government workers that can perform and qualify for government’s plantilla positions, the President said.

In addition, the President wanted the agencies to conduct a thorough study of the current state of the government workforce, including the COS and JOs.

“Pag-aralan natin, just look at the numbers, the data on average, government agencies. How many of their employees are contractual?” he said.

“How many items are in their plantilla proper are not filled?. How many are contractual as a percentage of the total number of employees? Kasi the percentages are one of the most important. Then titingnan natin is average. [It will] give us an idea how people are using the system,” the President pointed out.

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

JO, on the other hand, refers to piece work (pakyaw), intermittent or emergency jobs to be undertaken for a short duration and for a specific piece of job.

Earlier, the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-Commission on Audit (COA)-DBM Joint Circular (JC) No. 1, s. 2017, established the rules and regulations governing the hiring of COS and JO workers in government until December 31, 2018.

Subsequent issuances such as COA-DBM JC No. 2, s. 2020 and COA-DBM JC No. 2, s. 2022, extended the transitional period for the engagement of COS and JO workers to December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2024, respectively, to allow government agencies to reassess their organizational and staffing requirements.

Since the issuance of CSC-COA-DBM JC No. 1, s. 2017, the number of COS and JO workers in the government has increased.

As of June 30 last year, 29.68 percent (832,812) of the government workforce were COS and JO workers, a 29.71-percent increase from 2022.

The top five national government agencies with the highest number of COS and JO workers include the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), 29,275; Department of Health (DOH), 18,264; Department of Education (DepEd), 15,143; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 13,770; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), 10,990.

With the forthcoming expiration of the transitional period on December 31, 2024, COS and JO workers handling various government projects and performing regular functions are at risk of losing their jobs. PCO

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