Ending ‘endo’ must start with government, advocates say | Inquirer News

Ending ‘endo’ must start with government, advocates say

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 05:38 PM November 21, 2022


MANILA, Philippines—“We have to lead by example in government.”

Rep. Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon) said this as the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation started deliberating on bills seeking to grant civil service eligibility to long-time casual or contractual workers in the government.


Herrera said the “biggest violator of contractualization is actually the government,” saying that if it wanted to address the problem of endo (end of contract) in the private sector, it has to lead by example.

According to 2017 data from the Civil Service Commission (CSC), there were about 2.4 million government employees, but over 660,000 of which are casual or contractual workers.


RELATED STORY: More contractual workers in gov’t

In 2010, then Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said casual and contractual employees in government cannot be considered for regular employment unless they are civil service eligible.

Pangilinan, who filed a bill seeking to give eligibility to long-time contractual government workers, said: “They are not entitled to benefits and privileges accorded to regular employees even if they have been serving in the government for several years.”


But 12 years later, casual or contractual employees who have been working in the government for over five years are still not considered for regular employment since no law has been passed to give them the opportunity to obtain civil service eligibility.

This was the reason that Herrera filed House Bill (HB) No. 1387 to grant civil service eligibility to government employees who are holding casual or contractual positions in the first and second levels, and who have rendered continuous service for the last five years.

If the bill becomes law, the CSC, which is the agency expected to prepare the Implementing Rules and Regulations, would be mandated to create evaluation standards to determine which employees would qualify for automatic eligibility.

However, they will not be entitled to any promotion unless they obtain the eligibility requirement for the position.


Becoming the norm?

Last year, then Sen. Ralph Recto said it was high time for the government to find a way to grant “security of tenure” to thousands of its contractual workers.

This, as he stressed that the more than 660,000 casual or contractual workers in the government was a five-fold increase from 120,000, which was reported by the CSC in 2010.

Recto said there are many civil servants who work on the basis of one short-term contract to another: “Their contracts are not ended but they are not made permanent either.”

RELATED STORY: Wake-up call for government as employer

As stressed by Pangilinan, casual employees are “dedicated workers who render efficient service in the bureaucracy. It is unfortunate if they would not be given the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their hard work and perseverance such as having job security.”

This was shared by Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers), who asked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last July to end contractualization in government by regularizing casual workers who have been serving for years.

READ: Regularization of gov’t contractual workers pushed

“How could we expect private companies to end the practice of endo (end of contract) if the government itself takes part in the practice?” she said.

They could be permanent

Herrera said “considering the services they extend in all government offices vis-a-vis the insufficient benefits and privileges accorded the casual and contractual employees, the government should grant these dedicated employees who have rendered efficient service in the bureaucracy an opportunity to obtain their civil service eligibility.”

The grant of regular status will serve as “an incentive towards more productive work, investing in one’s job, and taking on a longer-term view at one’s career advancement,” said the legislator.


Last month, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said the problem of contractualization in government persisted through the years: “It’s about time that we address the issue.”

He said based on the latest data from the CSC, there were 642,077 non-permanent government workers as of June this year, with 493,900 under job order (JO) and 148,100 on contractual basis.

This, despite the over 170,800 permanent positions in government that are not yet filled, with thousands of posts yet to be occupied in the Departments of Education (47,034), Health (21,038), Public Works and Highways (3,180), Environment and Natural Resources (2,430), and Social Welfare and Development (381).

Likewise, these agencies have the most JO and contract of service (COS) workers—Public Works and Highways (22,457), Education (12,465), Health (8,188), Social Welfare and Development (7,340), and Environment and Natural Resources (5,487).

As explained by the Commission on Audit, JO is the hiring of a worker for “piece work or intermittent job of short period not exceeding six months and pay is on a daily or hourly basis.”

Contract of service, meanwhile, is the engagement of the services of a person, private firm or non-governmental agency to do a specific work requiring special or technical skills, which should be accomplished within a period not exceeding one year.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman previously told the Senate that “the problem usually is that most of the JOs and COS government workers do not meet the qualifications provided for by the CSC.”

Closer to becoming law

Last Nov. 15, the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation approved the consolidation of 10 bills that seek to pave the way for the regularization and grant of eligibility to casual or contractual government employees.


When the committee deliberated on the proposals, its chairperson, Bohol Rep. Kristine Alexie Tutor moved that the bills be approved “in principle” and be consolidated with all the recommendations to come up with a new one.

Here’s a list of the bills filed in the House of Representatives to seek the regularization and grant of eligibility to casual or contractual government employees who have been serving for years:

  • HB No. 204 by Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers)
  • HB No. 521 by Rep. Ron Salo (Kabayan)
  • HB No. 1387 by Rep. Bernadette Herrera (Bagong Henerasyon)
  • HB No. 1514 by Rep. Raymond Mendoza (TUCP)
  • HB No. 1675 by Quezon City Rep. Patrick Vargas
  • HB No. 2210 by Rep. Eduardo Villanueva (CIBAC)
  • HB No. 2916 by Bacolod City Rep. Greg Gasataya
  • HB No. 3425 by Northern Samar Rep. Harris Ongchuan
  • HB No. 4348 by Rep. JC Abalos (4Ps)
  • HB No. 3623 by Quezon City Rep. Ma. Victoria Co-Pilar

Arguing that positions left unfilled “distorts” national and local budgets, Tutor said the budget implications of ending contractualization in government will be partly addressed by regularizing those who have served for over five years and already have met most of the qualification requirements.

Casual or contractual employees enjoy the same benefits as the regular employee, but their tenure is limited to a period specified by law. While they may be appointed again, their employment may be terminated if their services are no longer needed.

As explained by the CSC, contractual appointments are limited to one year, but may be renewed every year, based on performance, until the completion of the project or specific work.

However, if the performance of the appointee is below satisfactory or where the funds have become insufficient or unavailable, the appointing officer may terminate the services of, or replace, the appointee after giving a notice at least 30 days.

While the committee already approved the consolidation of the bills, having it enacted into law is not yet certain since in 2020, the committee also approved a bill of the same nature, but no law has been passed.

READ: Gov’t told to end its own ‘endo’ scheme


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