Vico Sotto regularizes 109 more Pasig government employees
MANILA, Philippines – Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto gave permanent status to 109 more city government employees, some of whom have been around even before he was born.
The 109 employees were roll-called during the city’s flag raising ceremony led by the 30-year-old mayor on Monday, February 10. Sotto honored them and more than 50 other employees given permanent status in January for having served Pasig for 20 years or more as casual workers.
The city government has regularized a total of 163 employees since the start of 2020, Sotto said on his official Facebook page on Monday.
As “regular” or permanent employees, the workers get full employment benefits and security of tenure as stated in the law. Casual employees, on the other hand, are at the mercy of short-term contracts that may or may not be renewed by their bosses.
“Walang politika; tinitingnan lang kung kwalipikado't maayos ang track record. Pinapatay natin ang palakasan o ‘patronage’ sa pamahalaan,” Sotto said in his post. (No politics; we just look at whether they’re qualified and have a good track record. We are doing away with favoritism or patronage in government.)
What Sotto meant was that the workers’ political connections – whether they were hired by allies or opponents – did not matter when they were examined for regularization.
The 163 workers Pasig regularized so far were chosen according to their length of service – 20 years or more. “May iba, naabutan pa si Mayor Caruncho,” Sotto said. (Some were already around during Mayor Caruncho’s time.)
Emiliano Caruncho Jr was Pasig mayor from 1956 to 1986. The city’s main avenue that connects the Spanish-era Immaculate Conception Church, city hall, and the public market is named after him. His grandson Christian “Iyo” Caruncho Bernardo is the current vice mayor.
In January, Sotto gave permanent status to an employee named Roberto Rodrigo, who had then been working for city hall for over 43 years.
Up next for regularization, Sotto said, will be employees who have worked for the city for 15 years or more.
“Seryoso tayo sa mga 'pinangako natin dati. Hangga’t kaya, gagawin po natin,” Sotto assured the city government workers gathered during Monday’s ceremony. (We are serious about the promises we made before. If it can be done, we will do it.)
During his campaign, Sotto promised to properly hire the city government’s workers according to labor laws – as much as possible. Hiring workers on short-term contracts or “job orders” is a prevalent practice in the country’s bureaucracy.
Soon after becoming mayor in June 2019, Sotto began a program to “professionalize” the city’s traffic enforcers, whom he said were “notorious” for fleecing motorists but were also severely overworked and underpaid. More than 600 of them have since gone through a training seminar, which could lead to their regularization within a year, Sotto said in August.
Marking his 100th day in office in October, Sotto announced that the city government would open 379 permanent job positions in the bureaucracy.
On Monday, Sotto said city hall’s human resources department is working on a “Strategic Performance Management System” for employees.
“This is to continuously raise the level of service in the Pasig government,” Sotto said in Filipino. – Rappler.com