By: Gail T. Momblan
CONTRARY to his earlier threat that contract of service and job hire employees might lose their jobs if the provincial board fails to approve the 2019 budget, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. actually renewed their services three days before the end of 2018.
The renewal of the contracts of service and job hires is stipulated in Memorandum No. 81, series of 2018 which Defensor signed and issued on Dec 29, 2018.
the provincial government, particularly public hospitals, will grind to a halt due to lack of contract of service and job hire employees if the provincial board fails to approve the 2019 budget, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.
“In the view of the apparent certainty that the 2019 budget cannot be passed before December 31, 2018 and the province shall be operating on a re-enacted budget on January 1, 2019, and in the exigency of their service, you are hereby directed to recommend to the undersigned the contract of service and job hire employees which are necessary for the operation of this Province to carry out its mandate in providing efficient and effective basic services. The services of these employees are considered essential if they are of utmost importance, basic, indispensable and extremely necessary for the continued basic operation and existence of this province, part of the memorandum reads.
The memorandum was addressed to all department heads and chiefs of hospitals under the Iloilo provincial government.
Consequently, you are further directed to process the renewal of these personnel that you are recommending to be renewed subject to availability of funds and direct them to work accordingly, it added.
Defensor said contractual and job hire workers are essential to the operations of the provincial government, thus the renewal of their service contracts.
Basta ang contractual, job hire indi puede nga pabay-an tan a sila kay ila sina serbisyo tama ka importante kag kinhanglan gid adlaw-adlaw parehas sa mga general services, Defensor said in a press conference on January 3, 2019.
The province will operate using the re-enacted 2018 budget after the provincial board failed to pass the P3.7-billion executive budget for 2019.
We will work on re-enacted budget. Buot silingon ang usaron ta nga budget, ang budget sang 2018, he said.
I have issued a memorandum already that they will report ang tanan nga mga job hire effective January 1, 2019 and I assured them that they will be duly compensated for the services rendered, the governor said.
Defensor said he met with acting provincial accountant Orwen Anuevo on Jan 2, 2019 to discuss the salaries for the job hires and contractual workers.
Ang gin-istoryahan namon kon ano ang himuon para madisponseran lang anay ang sweldo sang aton mga job hires kag contractual, he said.
In his final State of the Province Address on Dec 11, 2018, Defensor raised the scare bogey if the approval of the 2019 budget is delayed.
Defensor said a re-enacted budget will paralyze the operation of our 12 district hospitals because 1,011 Contract of Service staff, among them doctors, nurses and medical technologists, as well as 649 job hires can no longer be reappointed.
But Board Members Domingo Oso and Valentin Serag, both members of the appropriations committee, belied the governors statement saying he can still rehire contractual and job hire workers if he declares their services as essential to the operations of the provincial government.
Under the Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code of the Philippines), essential operating expenses refer to specific objects of expenditure under Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses, which are necessary for the operation of a particular local government unit to carry out its mandate in providing efficient and effective basic services. The local government unit is in the best position to identify expenses which, according to its best judgment, are essential to its operation.
The provincial board has blamed Defensor for the delayed approval of the 2019 budget due to the lump sum appropriation of over P500 million that will fund the 20 percent development projects of the province.
Board Member Dorothy Paes, appropriations committee chair, said the executive must itemize or provide details on how and where the over half a billion peso in public funds will be spent.
Serag earlier said that the budget hearings would continue January 2019.
Starting January, may 90 days pa para aprubahan ang budget, he said.