Gov’t to spend P35-B for 100,000 new teachers, cops, firemen — Recto
The government will spend almost P35 billion in first year salaries alone of at least 100,000 new personnel — mostly teachers, policemen and firemen — next year, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said on Sunday.
Recto said in a statement that his count refers only to new positions, and does not include recruitment to replace separated, resigned, dismissed or deceased personnel.
Topping the list of agencies that will go on a recruitment-spree next year, said Recto, is the Department of Education (DepEd) which will open 81,100 teaching slots beginning January 2018.
The slots are for 43,732 kindergarten and elementary teachers; 1,944 special education teachers ; 35,192 junior high school teachers; and 232 for senior high school teachers, Recto added.
The senator said the second biggest recruiter will be the Philippine National Police (PNP) which will be authorized to create 10,000 entry-level Police Officers 1 positions. Once hired, they will raise PNP’s uniformed personnel strength to 194,410, resulting in a 1:511 policeman to population ratio.
Also included in the 2018 national budget are funds to hire 1,000 Jail Officers 1 to allow the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to cope with a projected 76,276 spike in inmate population next year, according to Recto.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will also be authorized to sign up 2,000 Fire Officers 1, which Recto pointed out, “hardly makes a dent on its need” for about 25,000 additional firemen.
Recto said the hiring of policemen and teachers were “linked to population growth.”
“There is a cop-to-citizen ratio that must be maintained. And 40 more students enrolled in public schools would require the hiring of one teacher. Forty is the number of babies born every 10 minutes in this country,” Recto said.
With the addition of kindergarten and two more grades in the basic education curriculum, Recto said DepEd needs more teachers.
“In fact, even if all the 2018 new slots will be hired, it will be needing 87,432 more,” the senator added.
For 2018, DepEd is set to receive P16.7 billion to fill vacant positions and P28.17 billion for new positions to be created. Bureaucracy-wide, some P34.9 billion is allotted for the pay of new civil service entrants.
Recto said although other agencies will not create job items, they will be hiring to fill existing vacant positions.
“Those involved in infrastructure, like the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will have no choice but to boost their technical staff to end talent shortage and project delay,” he said.
Recto also noted that DPWH has 1,777 vacancies in its approved plantilla of 19,501 personnel, while the DOTr’s mother agency, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), had 1,297 reported vacancies last year.
The judiciary, Recto said, is also grappling with lack of judges and support personnel to dispose of heavy caseloads.
The Supreme Court and lower courts have total plantilla positions of 37,230 but only 25,154 are filled, leaving 12,076 vacancies.
“Ganun din ang (Same with the) Commission on Audit (COA). Ang authorized positions ay 14,102 positions pero 8,175 lang ang may tao; ang 5,927 ay bakante,” Recto said.
(Authorized positions are 14,102 positions but there are only 8,175 employees; there are 5,927 vacancies.)
“Public spending next year will be more than P4 trillion na, kasama ang GOCC (government-owned and controlled corporations) and local governments. How can COA’s 6,733 auditors go over the books of 19,081 agencies?” the senator said.
Recto also said revenue agencies were expected to bolster the number of its workforce, citing President Duterte’s request to Congress to authorize the filling of 3,233 Customs bureau vacancies at a cost of P4.2 billion in initial year pay.
In all, the senator said the national government will have 1,460,733 authorized positions next year but only 1,214,137 are projected to be filled, resulting in 246,596 vacancies “on paper.”
Recto conceded that some of the vacancies will have to be scrapped if they are redundant, “but crucial items like those in the PNP, medical personnel of the DOH (Department of Health), to name just a few, these should be filled in the name of public service.”
“Tulad nung sa pulis, kahit ma-hire mo yung 10,000 next year, meron pa ring matitirang bakante na 14,500 slots. Sa dami ng riding-in-tandem at akyat-bahay, at kasama sa grab business o ‘yung nag-gra-grab ng bag, kwintas at cellphone, dapat talaga punuan ang mga posisyon na ‘yan,” Recto said.
(Just like in the case of the policemen, even if you hire 10,000 next year, there would still be 14,500 vacancies. With all the cases of riding-in-tandem, house robberies, and snatching of bags, necklaces and cellphones, we really need to fill those positions.) je