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COA questions Duterte’s 11,000 contractual workers

MANILA, Philippines – State auditors are questioning Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s hiring of 11,246 contractual workers in 2014, which cost the city government P708 million.

Doubting the necessity and regularity of 4,754 job orders – all for the city mayor’s office – the Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out that Davao’s lack of clear policy in hiring people fosters patronage.

“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,” COA noted.

Auditors found that of the 14,499 person on the city government’s payroll, only 3,253 hold regular positions. They get their salaries from the city’s personal services budget.

The 6,081 contractual employees and 5,165 job orders were paid from the maintenance and other operating expenses budget.

COA was also concerned that there were no documents to prove that the non-regulars were actually rendering work. Those assigned to Barangay Cultural Communities and Affairs Division, the city councilors’ offices, and those reporting to barangay chairpersons didn’t have daily time records or attendance logs when doing filed work. Their functions and duties were not specified in their contracts.

“These conditions cast doubt that entries in the daily time record of these employees…are manipulated, thus regularity and validity of the related expenditures could not be ascertained,” the COA report said.

Auditors also noted that some of the contractual employees had been working in the city government for more than a decade, but had not been offered regular posts.

In response to the COA report, Davao City’s Human Resource Management Office said it will formulate a set of guidelines for the hiring of contractual and job order personnel. – Rappler.com