Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Sharp Edges

Government employs 720,000 ‘endo’ workers

Every year, the national government spends P9.6 billion for its 120,000 job order, casual, contractual and fixed term employees. Local governments shell out even more: P13.83 billion for almost 600,000 noncivil service eligible employees who do the heavy, physical and dirty work.

These people are not paid minimum wages and oftentimes, their payroll is used for ghost and multiple payments by corrupt local government officials.

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Every year, they are hired and renewed through the “supplemental budgets” of city, provincial and municipal boards. Of course, the list of employees is purged of losing politicians’ “proteges.”

But what about the nonpolitical employees who served for years? Can they complain?

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Now, President Duterte is moving toward abolishing “endo” in the private sector. Labor Secretary Bebot Bello is projecting that in December, around 300,000 employees will be “regularized” by many companies. But the truth is, this administration, like those of Cory, Ramos, Erap, Gloria and PNoy, continues to turn a blind eye to this practice.

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The everyday hype of the PNP’s Tokhang, Double Barrel Reloaded and antidrug campaign is making illegal gambling operators very happy. Why not? Their operations remain unhampered even as former Philippine National Police chief Bato dela Rosa promised they will be his next target. But nothing happened until he retired.

During PNoy’s time, the highest collection of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for Small Time Lottery (STL) stood at only P4.7 billion in 2015. I remember former PCSO chair Ayong Maliksi saying then that STL collections should be P50 billion a year and he even quarreled with the PCSO board.

Right now, the PCSO says it is collecting P1.8 billion to P2 billion monthly from its 92 Authorized Agent Corporations. This is still good news because during PNoy’s time, it was only P23 million to P25 million. The PCSO says if this trend continues, it will have an unprecedented P24 billion in STL collections this year.

In January, Sen. Panfilo Lacson told PCSO general manager, Alexander Balutan, in a Senate hearing that in eight regions in Luzon alone, gross STL collections should be P6.05 billion monthly, a far cry from the present P2 billion. Where did the rest go? To gambling lords, PCSO or PNP officers?

Many times, the PCSO has complained about the PNP’s inaction against illegal “jueteng” operations, particularly in the provinces. Under the PCSO’s implementing rules and regulations, the PNP receives a 2.5-percent monthly share of net STL collections. But in this case, the personalized bribery system of gambling lords seems more effective than PCSO’s incentive.

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With the recent inauguration of the beautiful and modern Terminal 2 of Mactan-Cebu International Airport, I am amused by a fellow newsman who calls Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) the “most prayerful airport” in Asia.

Tony Lopez of BiznewsAsia says Naia has so many safety concerns, including potentially fatal aerial hazards such as tall buildings. In case of aircraft trouble or bad weather, planes are potentially bombs that could crash into buildings.

“You pray that your flight arrives or takes off on time and without delay (average is 45 minutes). And you pray that nothing untoward happens to you and your flight,” Tony adds.

Amen.

For comments, e-mail jakejm2005@yahoo.com.

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TAGS: contractualization, end of contract workers, endo, illegal gambling, Jake J. Maderazo, Mactan Cebu International Airport, PCSO, Sharp Edges, war on drugs
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