By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has denied that some of its 1,200 contract of service workers (COS) have been dismissed.
Based on records of the Department, the reduction in the number of COS workers is not because of the dismissal but due to various factors.
For the period June 2018 to March 2019, some 876 COS workers were appointed to permanent, coterminous, casual, and contractual positions.
Likewise, it said that there is a reduction of the 2019 approved budget of the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), thus, the number of COS positions was also reduced.
DSWD also attributed the reduction of employees to the winding down of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) with majority of employees in the program under COS status; and resignation of COS workers who transferred to other government agencies and the private sector.
In line with the expansion of its programs and services, DSWD pointed out that it has, in fact, hired more workers.
As of April 28, 2019, the number of DSWD workforce nationwide is now close to 27,000 composed of permanent, casual, contractual, coterminous, COS workers or memorandum of agreement (MOA) workers and job orders (JOs).
Of this number, COS or MOA workers and JOs number to 13,294.
The present DSWD management vowed to continue to push for the regularization of qualified COS workers through constant coordination with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the creation of regular positions.
To date, a total of 8,083 proposed positions have been submitted to DBM. These include 4,779 positions for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; 734 for centers and institutions; 2,422 for SLP; 21 for DSWD field office in Region 2; 29 in Region 7; 81 in Region 10; and 17 in Region 11.
DSWD is scheduled to hold a workforce planning workshop this month to discuss and evaluate the creation of additional positions for its offices and bureaus in the central office and field offices.
This will serve as a basis for COS workers to apply for the available positions, in accordance with the established selection process and qualification standards set by the Civil Service Commission.
As a matter of policy, qualified COS workers will be given priority for these positions since they already have the necessary experience which they gained while working in the Department.
DSWD said it respects the dignity of its workers and it continues to put premium on their rights, security, and welfare as part of its good governance anchored on fair and just employment practice.