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Duterte: I can hire more contractual workers to keep Davao clean, safe

12:04 AM June 22, 2015
PRESIDENT? Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed with a planeside honor as he arrives in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur province, on Friday afternoon. The province is celebrating its 55th founding anniversary. Duterte was welcomed by local officials led by  Gov. Johnny Pimentel and the mayors of Tandag City and 18 other towns.

PRESIDENT? Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed with a planeside honor as he arrives in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur province, on Friday afternoon. The province is celebrating its 55th founding anniversary. Duterte was welcomed by local officials led by Gov. Johnny Pimentel and the mayors of Tandag City and 18 other towns.

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would hire three times as many contractual employees as the existing 11,246 if only to keep the city clean, safe and orderly.

“In the government, we don’t add plantilla positions every year and Davao City is one of the biggest cities in the country, so, we hire contractuals,” Duterte said in reply to the Commission on Audit (COA)’s report questioning the hiring of 11,246 contractual workers by the city mayor’s office in 2014 alone, costing the city government some P708 million.

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“The P708 million (that the COA questioned) is part of the city’s operation expense, I’m spending it on contractual workers from garbage collectors to drivers, to intelligence operatives roaming around the city,” the mayor said in his television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on Sunday.

“You don’t expect plantilla workers to collect garbage, don’t you?” he asked. “And garbage collectors are working in the city on three shifts,” Duterte said.

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“The SCAAs (Special Civilian Active Auxiliary), the soldiers roaming around Davao, I’m paying them,” Duterte said. “They’re part of the intelligence apparatus roaming the city.”

Duterte said there is no cap on the number of contractual employees to be hired by the city government. He added it is still possible for him to increase the number of contractual workers to three times as many as they are now, since the city is very big with 183 barangays (villages).

“It’s my duty to make the barangay clean, the people simply deserve it,” he said.

“I am the mayor, I decide how much I spend and how many will work for the interest of the city,” he added.

The audit report was released in 2014 but was made public through an online news portal only on June 16.

“There’s a COA office on our (City Hall) ground floor, why didn’t they tell me, why point that to me only now?” asked Duterte when interviewed on Friday.

“As long as those contractual workers are rendering service, what’s the problem? The problem only comes when they are not rendering services in the city,” said Duterte.

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The COA report particularly pointed out the alleged lack of a hiring manual, which allegedly opened the hiring of contractual workers in the city to the possibility of patronage politics. Most of over 11,000 contractual employees questioned by the COA were hired by the city mayor’s office.

“The city has no written policy or manual on the hiring of employees particularly under contract of services and job orders. Identification of persons to be hired for such nature rests directly upon the recommendation of the department heads and other officials of the city,” the report, quoting the COA, said.

“Impossible,” said Duterte, commenting on the supposed absence of guidelines. “It’s the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) which provided the guidelines.”

“If any person can come up with evidence that I made money from the government, I will immediately resign as city mayor,” he said. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Commission On Audit, News, Regions, Rodrigo Duterte
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