Press Release
August 2, 2016

Recto: Army of gov't casuals must be saved from endo too

As government brings the hammer down on illegal contractualization practices of private companies, it should also "practice what it preaches" by regularizing the employment of its thousands of casual workers, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said.

Recto said government should "open a pathway to regular employment for thousands of casuals who are eligible for permanent civil service."

This, as Recto called for a bureaucracy-wide inventory of temporary workers in the public sector under various rampant hiring schemes like "job order (JO)", "emergency hiring (EH)", and "Memorandum of Agreement" which are all synonyms for "endo-prone employment."

Recto was referring to the popular shorthand for "end of contract" or the termination of work after a fixed period which candidates in the last presidential elections vowed to end if elected to office.

Recto described the size of casual government employees in the government today as "as big as the Army."

After teachers and soldiers, they are the third biggest class of workers, he said.

He cited the last inventory of government personnel - done by the Civil Service Commission in 2010 - which pegged the number of contractual workers at 21,315 and casual workers at 97,951 or nearly 120,000.

These were workers whose compensation was booked as "personal services" - the bureaucratic term for payroll-related expense.

Not captured by the count, Recto said, were casual workers hired pursuant to "job orders", whose pay came from MOOE or Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses.

Also not included were workers in subcontracted tasks like security and janitorial services, Recto said. "The fact is, government is one of the biggest buyers of outsourced labor in the country today."

In 2014, the national government (NG), not including local governments, spent P11.6 billion for outsourced general services like janitorial (P2.1 billion), environmental and sanitary (P2.1 billion), and security (P3.2 billion).

That year, the NG also spent P9.6 billion in the basic pay of its contractual and casual employees.

But the local governments spent more - almost P10 billion for salaries of casuals, P3.2 billion for contractuals, and P623 million for emergency, substitute and part-time workers.

"We are also spending billions for consultants who are basically contractual employees. Kaya nga dapat mayroong bagong census para malaman ang laki ng casual republic," Recto said.

He explained that tapping MOOE to hire personnel has been resorted to by many government agencies "to economize, to keep PS at a low level, to evade paying pension premiums, to avoid the complicated hiring processes, to accommodate persons who are not yet civil service eligible."

But for casual employees "who have been in the service for at least five years, who are civil service-eligible, and whose work has been rated excellent," Recto is proposing to government "to start a process on how to bring them into the regular workforce."

This should be the sequel to President Digong's order to end endo, Recto said.

But this, he admitted, is a tall task considering the huge PS expense of the government which will reach P779 billion this year.

"May mga pension repercussions ang regularization. Maraming pressure sa payroll. There's the second tranche of SSL IV, the order to double the salary of soldiers, cops and teachers," Recto said.

For local governments to absorb some of their casuals and for them to comply with the Salary Standardization Law IV, Recto said their share from internal revenue taxes must be raised from 40 to 50 percent and in computing the same, some of Bureau of Customs (BOC) collections must be included.

Recto has filed a bill increasing the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of local government units to 50 percent, and another bill factoring in BOC's VAT and excise tax collection in computing the IRA.

News Latest News Feed