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100 terminated as Senate trims oversight committees


Senate President Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Up to 100 employees of the oversight committtees in the Senate were terminated effective Thursday, according to an order issued by Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Drilon had said that the move  was part of the rationalization of oversight committees, which took effect last August 1.

“All employees shall continue to serve only until  August 15, 2013 to effect a smooth transition in the  management and efficient functioning of the oversight committee, unless their employment after such date is approved by the chairperson  of the respective committees,” a memorandum dated August  13 and signed by the Senate  President said.

“During such transition  period, the affected staff shall be entitled to their salaries and  other benefits that  may be due them,”  it said.

“Employees of oversight committees, whose services shall not be required by the chairperson of the respective oversight committees after such date, shall be entitled to terminal benefits to be charged against available funds of the Senate, subject to pertinent government accounting and auditing laws, rules, and regulations,” it added.

In a letter to Drilon dated August 9, the  affected employees appealed  that they be allowed to   continue their services until December 31.

“In all humility, the implementation of the rationalization of oversight committees effective August 1, 2013 caught us by surprise and we were completely unprepared  for  such a contingency,”   they said in the letter.

“With the realignment of personnel services in the budget of oversight committees, we were effectively separated from the services as the source of our salaries and benefits  no longer exists.”

Some of them, they said, had been in the service of their respective oversight committees for more than  15 years while others had been in government service for more than 30 years.

“Our length of  service will attest that we have performed our duties with utmost efficiency, honesty, dedication and hardwork. Unfortunately, some of us can no longer be accommodated as staff member in the chairperson’s Senate  office due to budgetary  constraints,” they said.

Their request to stay until the end  of the year, they said, would  give them time to finish their pending tasks such  as the liquidation of cash advances, turnover of office equipment, furniture and other properties, among others.

A “statement  of concern” issued  by the Senate employees’ union – Sandigan ng mga Emplyeadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong  Organisasyon – placed the number of personnel, who will  be  affected by the rationalization move from 86 to 100.

“We are not talking about 86 or around 100 displaced employees alone. We are talking about the effects of this dislocation to their families,”  the union said.

“Our co-workers are not ready for this unfortunate event nor even their families, not to mention that these employees have faithfully served the Senate for over 14 years with some of the  committees in existence for more than 10 years,” it  further said.

From  more than  30 oversight  committees,  Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the number would be  cut to 20, a move that  is expected to  generate  P140 million savings in 2013.

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Tags: Employment , Politics , Senate , Senate oversight committees , Senate President Franklin Drilon , termination

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