By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
A measure seeking the grant of Christmas bonuses to job order (JO) and contractual workers in local government units (LGUs) has been filed in Senate.
Senator Francis Tolentino filed on Monday Senate Resolution No. 272, urging the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to authorize LGUs to give Christmas incentives to their JO and contract of service (COS) employees.
The neophyte senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government, said the holidays should be an opportunity to give credit to “hardworking” workers in LGUs.
“Local government units have done an excellent job in serving their respective constituents and credit is due to the hard working people behind them,” he said in the resolution.
“Part of this group of hardworking people are job orders and contract of service workers that equally serve with regular government employees but with lesser benefits,” he added.
Citing civil service records, the measure noted that the government employed a total of 658,678 JO and COS workers in 2018, and 458,787 of them were from the LGUs.
Tolentino said that the Commission on Audit, however, “had often disallowed the grant of bonuses for these employees despite the lack of legal basis.”
In a statement, he said that giving contractual LGU workers holiday benefits is not impossible since the DBM could authorize the LGUs to use their local funds to provide for such incentives.
“There is a need to reward these equally hardworking but disadvantageously compensated workers to inspire them to continue serving with vigor and to show them that their service is highly appreciated,” his resolution read.
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) defined COS as “the engagement of the services of an individual, private firm, other government agency, non-governmental agency or international organization as consultant, learning service provider or technical expert to undertake special project or job within a specific period.”
A JO, meanwhile, is a “piece work or intermittent or emergency jobs such as clearing of debris on the roads, canals, waterways, etc. after natural/man-made disasters/occurrences and other manual/trades and crafts services such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical and the like. These jobs are of short duration and for a specific piece of work.”
Both JO and COS workers should not perform functions that are part of the job description of regular government employees.