Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva is calling on the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to address the high number of Job Order (JO) and Contract of Service (COS) employees in government and provide them with the security of tenure especially if they have civil service eligibility.
“We have been raising the issue of unfilled positions in government during budget hearings since we became a senator in 2016, and the number of JOs and COS workers in government remains a problem. It’s about time that we address the issue of contractualization in government,” Villanueva said.
“While there are 170,688 unfilled government positions, the government has 642,077 employees under JO or COS.”
The veteran legislator added that while there are 170,688 unfilled government positions, the government has 642,077 employees under JO or COS, representing 26.07% of all government workers.
According to the data from the CSC, the top government agencies with the highest number of JO and COS employees are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) (22,457), the Department of Education (DepEd) (12,465), the Department of Health (DOH) (8,188), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) (7,340) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) (5,487).
Data also shows that these agencies have the following unfilled positions: DPWH (3,180), DepEd (47,034), DOH (21,038), DSWD (381), and DENR (2,430).
“Despite the high number of unfilled positions in different government agencies, most JO and COS employees are not qualified to apply for a permanent position in government because they do not have any civil service eligibility.”
The Senate Majority Leader noted that despite the high number of unfilled positions in different government agencies, most JO and COS employees are not qualified to apply for a permanent position in government because they do not have any civil service eligibility.
For his part, the seasoned lawmaker filed Senate Bill No. 568 which will institutionalize the Skills Certificate Equivalency Program (SCEP) and grant civil service eligibility for graduates of technical and vocational education and training courses who are National Certificate (NC) holders issued by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The senator, an advocate for workers’ rights, also filed Senate Bill No. 131 or the Civil Service Security of Tenure Act which will provide permanent appointment and automatic civil service eligibility to all casual and contractual government employees who have rendered at least five years in service in the national government and six years in the local government units and have at least a satisfactory rating for at least three years.
He also lauded the move of the CSC to give a “preferential rating” for JOs and COS in the next civil service examination which will put into consideration their number of years in service.
“This is a welcome development on the part of the CSC to secure jobs for JO and COS workers in the government. Let’s end endo in government once and for all,” Villanueva concluded.