Layoffs, hiring spree seen as new execs take over

With just 15 days to go before the new chief executives take over in three towns of Catanduanes where the incumbents lost, most of the casual, job order and contractual employees in Virac, Pandan and Bagamanoc may be looking for new jobs.

The same goes for those in the provincial government whose bosses’ reign as public officials ends on June 30, including that of the incumbent vice governor as well as the congressman who exits after just one term.

This is a scenario that would be a certainty in all local government units where there will be change at the very top.

Patronage politics, which rules the Philippine landscape, demand that the new boss change most, if not all, of the temporary employees and replace them with those who actively campaigned for him or her.

Thus, all of those who will leave the local government with their last wage will join their defeated leader in the list of the newly unemployed.

The losing politicians, however, will not certainly suffer from their debacle and have probably began plotting their return in three years’ time.

Former Vice Gov. Vincent Villaluna’s loss could portend an end for the family run in local politics while Pandan Mayor Honesto Tabligan II has his paradise resort in Hiyop and his alleged P700-million declared assets to keep him busy.

On the other hand, Virac Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento Jr. has his back covered by Congressman-elect Eulogio Rodriguez, who has reportedly hired him as chief of staff in the House of Representatives.

Now, there is nothing that prevents government agencies or local government units from hiring candidates who lost in the May 9, 2022 elections as long as they are hired as job order employees or consultants.

In Resolution No. 02-0012, the Civil Service Commission ruled that the hiring on job order basis of non-winning candidates in an election may b allowed, “considering that job order contract is not an appointment within the contemplation of Civil Service Law and rules.”

The CSC’s 2002 ruling was prompted by a query from then Batanes Gov. Vicente Gato who sought clarification if the provincial government was allowed to hire, on job order basis, the services of candidates who lost in recent elections.

The 1987 Constitution as well as the Local Government Code of 1991 prohibits the appointment of losing candidates to any office in the government within one year after such election, except for those who lost in barangay elections.

In 2002, the Commission ruled that a non-winning candidate in an election may be appointed to a consultant position within one year from the date of said election.

It held that the hiring as a consultant is beyond the purview of the one-year prohibition, as its purpose is not defeated considering that the services of a consultant are not directly delivered to the people who rejected him or her but more to the person who hires him or her.

The same ruling may also be applied to those hired on job-order basis, the CSC said, considering that their services are delivered directly to the specific agency or unit in need of the particular services offered by the defeated candidate.

“More importantly, services rendered under contracts of services and job orders are not considered government services, the contracts need not be submitted to the CSC for approval, the job order employees do not enjoy the benefits enjoyed by government employees such as PERA, COLA and RATA, no employer-employee relationship exists, and they are not covered by civil service law,” it stressed.

Thus, there is no impediment for chief executives to hire defeated allies or even their rivals as consultants or job-order employees either now or by June 30, 2022.

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