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Bacolod job order hires for 2023 down by 20%

Rappler.com
Bacolod job order hires for 2023 down by 20%

BACOLOD CITY HALL.

Paolobon140, CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons

The city government says it will make sure the reduction in the number of job order hires won't affect the function of various departments

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez will reduce job order (JO) hires in 2023 by 20%, City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III announced on Thursday, January 5.

The city government will hire around 2,700 JO workers, down from 3,500 in 2022, Maghari said.

In November 2022, the mayor said the P300 million drop in the city’s national tax allotment for 2023, from  P2 billion to P1.7 billion, could lead to a 50% slash in JO posts.

But because the Benitez team initially estimated JOs at around 6,000, the actual retention target has not changed.

The city started trimming the ranks of JOs as contracts expired in the second half of 2022 after Benitez assumed office.

Maghari also led the validation process, checking not only for ghost employees but whether JOs were matched to the right positions.

The vetting, purging, and rehiring process that happens with turnovers in political administrations led to incidents of delayed salaries in November and December.

On December 29, Benitez was shown visiting different departments involved in releasing the JO payroll “to make sure the payrolls will be released before the year ends.”

“I understand your plight,” the mayor said in a Facebook post. 

“We will correct this old system so the release of pay will be easier for employees of the Bacolod City government,” he added in the local Hilihaynon language.

The tweaking of the JO system led to the temporary halt in city vaccination operations in malls on Tuesday, January 3, as staff were still waiting for their new appointments.

PAYROLL CRUNCH TIME. Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez signs documents on December 29, 2022 to allow the release of pay for job order hires before the long New Year weekend. Albee Benitez Facebook

Maghari said the 2023 JO hires would have to apply for automated teller cards so the city government could streamline the payroll delivery.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved on third and final reading the city’s P3.250-billion budget for 2023.

“We will make sure that the reduction of the number of job order workers will not affect the function of various departments,” Maghari said. 

Maghari said the Benitez administration also needs to beef up essential departments.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) released guidelines in 2017 to clarify JO or service contract arrangements.

Job order is defined as “piece work (pakyaw) or intermittent or emergency jobs such as clearing of debris on the roads, canals, waterways, etc. after natural/man-made disasters/occurrences and other manual/trades and crafts services such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical and the like. These jobs are of short duration and for a specific piece of work.”

The CSC stressed that JO or contract of service workers (consultants) “should not be made to perform functions which are part of the job description of existing regular employees nor be assigned to positions tasked to control or supervise regular or career employees. – Rappler.com

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