It’s endo for fifteen UP Tacloban contractual workers; groups show outrage

It was one gloomy day on a hot Wednesday both to the students and to Ate Pinky, Kuya Napo and thirteen other former job order employees who worked and offered their service to the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) community for about nine to eighteen years. The 15th of August this year marks their last day at the university.

Based on reports, the Campus Development & Maintenance Office (CDMO) did not officially call the attention of the workers to formally inform them regarding their termination. Instead, the news circulated within the college only as a “hearsay” until it was confirmed only about two days before the termination.

Duterte admin bids farewell to contractual workers

As part of the implementation of the Joint Circular No. series of 2017 released by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) stating that the hiring of job order (JO) and Contract of Services (COS) employees will be transferred to private manpower agencies after December 31 last year and the memorandum released by UP President Danilo Concepcion which in essence mandates all UP units to implement the national order, the UPVTC administration officially terminated fifteen contractual workers who, along with students, were denied of at least a dialogue to negotiate their issues and demands.

Aside from being terminated, workers will also receive a three percent-deduction from their P300 daily wage to pay for their alleged Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno (PAG IBIG) benefits which the workers revealed to be unmaximized and unbenefited from as the CDMO refuse to sign their request to file for a housing loan.

Students and progressive groups denounced the mass layoff of workers which according to them is simultaneously happening all over the country. As of now, the UP Tacloban student council leads a petition calling for support for the terminated workers.

Workers group Kilusang Mayo Uno Sinirangan Bisayas reiterated that the neglect over the workers in the country is evident under the Duterte administration who is unashamed to continuously give the people false promises.

No budget?

According to the UP Tacloban administration,the termination of workers is already non-negotiable as there is no budget for their salary anymore.

In a statement, Pulso han Mag-aaram condemned the use of the Free Tuition Law as a justification to the mass layoffs. “Pulso also condemns the justification that because of the Free Tuition Law, the College can no longer support the salaries of all its workers. This is nothing but a lie with a goal of pitting the interests of students and workers against each other,” the statement reads.

Following the joint order from CSC, COA and, DBM, more government employees are expected to lose job this year as job insecurity intensifies according to the youth group.

Meanwhile, UP Tacloban students and other progressive groups such as Bayan Eastern Visayas stage a five-day nightly “kampuhan” or camp-out which started last August 13 to show solidarity to the workers. Bayan Eastern Visayas Secretary General then challenged the students to take part in the struggle to fight alongside the workers.

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Eastern Vista

Eastern Vista is an alternative media organization in Eastern Visayas. Stories of people in the struggle for justice and aid after super typhoon Yolanda inspired its creation in 2014. Eastern Vista is also a co-producer of Lingganay han Kamatuoran, a Waray-based radio magazine program airing since 2003. From Eastern Philippines, Eastern Vista shares the news and views from a people rising.

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