MANILA, Philippines – On his 31st birthday on Wednesday, June 17, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto signed the appointment papers of 100 city hall workers, making them permanent employees of the local government.
They were workers who have been with the Pasig government for 20 years or longer, but with short-term renewable contracts that denied them the security and benefits of full-fledged employees.
Among the 100 employees regularized on Wednesday were street sweepers and engineering aides who have been hired as “contractuals” all this time, Sotto said on Twitter and Facebook.
With this latest batch of official appointments, Sotto completed the regularization of all city government workers who have been in service for at least 20 years.
The next phase of Pasig’s employee regularization program will include workers who have been serving the city for at least 15 years.
A campaign promise, Sotto’s program began in January with the regularization of 53 workers who had been with city hall the longest, including a man who had been in service for 43 years.
Another 109 workers received permanent status in February.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic delayed the program, Sotto said, as the city government focused on the public health crisis.
In a Facebook live briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Sotto said he was about to sign 100 appointment papers before heading home for his birthday dinner with his family.
“Hindi ko man ma-permanent lahat sa 3 years, pero ‘yung mga 20 years pataas, then after that, ‘yung mga 15 years pataas – bigyan natin sila ng seguridad. Ilayo natin sila sa politika,” said Sotto, referring to his 3-year term as mayor.
(I may not be able to make everyone permanent in 3 years, but those who’ve been here 20 years or longer, then after that, those 15 years or longer – let’s give them security. Let’s protect them from politics.)
Having no security of tenure, city government workers had to patronize politicians in office in the hope of renewing their short-term contracts.
This perpetuated patronage politics, in which bureaucrats had to abide by the ruling power’s rules, right or wrong, in order to keep their jobs.
Besides giving Pasig’s workers peace of mind, for Sotto, the regularization program is also a way to reform the city’s politics and government. – Rappler.com