Wake-up call for government as employer
It is very opportune for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to have reiterated that there are more than 160,000 unfilled positions in the national government, while 62,000 workers hold nonpermanent positions.
I can only surmise that this phenomenon exists since, generally, it is easier/faster to hire a contractual than a permanent worker and considering that the latter would require stringent requirements including the need for civil service eligibility.
For one to be eligible for civil service, he/she must hurdle the civil service examinations (professional and nonprofessional levels) being given by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on a periodic basis. Considering that most of these “contractuals” might have been working for the government for a long time, they are no longer interested to take the civil service examinations.
I would like to propose that instead of civil service eligibility, a special form of equivalent eligibility could be explored based on the length of service/tenure that a contractual had continuously worked with the government, i.e., professional eligibility could be replaced by eight years service tenure and subprofessional eligibility by five years service tenure.
If I recall, some legislators have already proposed some amendatory bills in this regard but fell short of becoming law. I suggest that the CSC should thoroughly evaluate the merits of this proposal and push for the said amendment to facilitate, among others, the conversion of contractual employee to a permanent one.
This bold move by the CSC would transmit an unequivocal message to private companies to likewise reconsider the hiring of regular rather than contractual employees.
It could be easier to persuade private companies to avoid unabated contractualization provided that the government would pave the way for the conversion of nonpermanent positions to permanent ones.
Emiliano M. Manahan Jr.,
advocate and author
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