TACLOBAN CITY – Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto lauds a bill filed by Senator Francis Pangilinan that would automatically grant civil service eligibility and, thus, regular employment to government workers who have rendered at least five years of continuous and efficient service. Loreto said it is a “good and sound bill” as there are more than 50% casual and contractual employees being employed by the government. He added that casual and contractual employees should also enjoy the benefits of regular employees such as security of tenure, social security and Pag-ibig Funds incentives, among others.

“The bill makes sense. For the reason that they are contractual and casual and subject to renewal for a period of time makes them work more efficiently so they can be rehired. That is why I say they should be entitled to the same benefits,” Loreto said. As for the province of Leyte, Loreto said, should the bill becomes a full law, putting in additional budget for more regular employees complete with benefits can be worked out. “It can be done. For the Sangguniang Panlalawigan alone, counting all casual and contractual employees would cost P30 million more in budget for personnel,” Loreto disclosed.

Pangilinan’s Civil Service Eligibility Bill acknowledges the long years of experience in the service of contractual and casual employees are enough to merit them regularization. The government is the biggest employer of the country, with some 1.4 million civil servants. However, almost three of four non-career workers hold casual or contractual positions. The measure would also make good on the promise of President Rodrigo Duterte to end contractualization. (AHLETTE C. REYES)