I CAME to know of the practice of hiring personnel under a ?job order? when I became the executive director of Nayong Pilipino. Job order workers in government are not considered government employees and they are not members of the SSS, GSIS, Pag-IBIG or PhilHealth unless, on their own, they enroll as individual-paying members thereof. Their salaries are drawn from the agency?s MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses), not from the allocation for personnel services, thus they are not entitled to monetary benefits that government occasionally gives for special reasons. Neither are they entitled to overtime pay and double-pay, nor to leave benefits. And they can be terminated anytime, even without cause and prior notice.
Isn?t it ironic that we hire these people to work for government yet we do not regard them as employees? They are required to use and accomplish CSC Form No. 212 (Personal Data Sheet), but they are not considered government employees. Government employees regularly enjoy automatic salary increases. Not the job order workers who are given just the minimum wage irrespective of their long, long years of service in government.
If the ?ber? months are much-awaited by government employees, job order workers would rather brush these months off their minds. To them, these months are like insults added to their injuries, salt rubbed into their wounds. I know how it pains them to see their co-workers receive their thick pay envelopes while they continue to toil, expecting nothing more than their daily salaries.
I remember how it disheartened me when calamity assistance was given to the ?Ondoy? victims who were government employees, but nothing for the job order workers.
Many times I have requested the concerned agencies to help them. I have tried different approaches. I have asked the Department of Budget and Management that they be hired at least as casual or contractual employees, supporting my request with voluminous research material and position papers. To this day, my request remains unacted upon.
If government is restricted from hiring additional personnel, at least it should try to uplift the terms of ?employment? for job order workers. Most of them have CSC eligibilities and are degree-holders, yet they are considered nothing more than machines.
I wish our legislators would come up with relevant legislation to at least give ?job orders? the humane treatment and benefits due a worker selflessly dedicating his or her skills and talents to government.
?CHARITO L. PLANAS,firstname.lastname@example.org