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The Ordeal of Job Orders in the Government

Recently, I came across this blog of young journalists who write so beautifully about various topics. As I continued reading one post after another, I was particularly caught by the essays they wrote about their employment suit against GMA Network, Inc. Four of them joined a team of 110 brave journalists who cried foul over GMA’s practice of hiring them on long-term and repeated contract basis. Unlike regular employees, they weren’t given the mandatory labor benefits so they claimed that the practice effectively deprived them of their rights. Their suit was big news in the Philippines early last year and gained them the attention they needed. I feel positive for them because there are many Supreme Court decisions which can be used to their favor, such as this one promulgated just this April 20, 2015 involving ABS-CBN Corporation “talents”. Sadly though, their bold move temporarily cost them their jobs.

Many job order personnel in the government face the same ordeal – Now what-repeatedly hired on yearly contracts, functioning like permanent employees (sometimes even more), but never truly allowed to belong. Their years of devoted work are not considered government service. They have no leave benefits, no overtime pay, no productivity bonuses, no 13th month pay, no calamity assistance, and no employer share in mandatory contributions (SSS, PhilHealth, etc).  This is the irony -agencies are quick to state that these JOs are NOT their employees but insist that they must follow the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for government employees. Wise eh?

I too had my share of being a JO in one GOCC. Eight years ago, fresh out of college, I eagerly applied, got hired, and accepted a meager salary for an 8-hour desk work. There were so many of us there! Some were even JOs for seven to ten years already! Because they needed to feed their families, they did not mind the practice. Our sorry state made me sick in the guts so I stopped working and decided to focus on my law studies instead.

In 2014, there were news that President BS Aquino would put an end to this practice in the government. I finally saw hope for the JOs. After all, Rule XI of CSC MC No. 40, s. 1998 (as amended by CSC MC. No. 15, s. 1999) specifically describes that Contracts of Service/Job Orders are those which – (1) covers lump sum work or services such as janitorial, security, or consultancy services where no employer-employee relationship exist; or (2) covers piece of work or intermittent job of short duration not exceeding six month on a daily basis. Ideally then, all others should be on permanent, temporary, casual, co-terminous, contractual, or substitute status – which are all considered government service.

Its 2015 and next year President Aquino’s term will end. Still no action on this problem. I guess I’ll just look forward to that day when the government will take the Supreme Court’s cue in its 2005 decision for Alexander Lopez et al., v. MWSS where the 4-Fold Test was applied. This test, popular in private sector labor cases, determines the existence of employer-employee relationship through four elements –

(1) whether the alleged employer has the power of selection and engagement of an employee; (2) whether he has control of the employee with respect to the means and methods by which work is to be accomplished; (3) whether he has the power to dismiss; and (4) whether the employee was paid wages.

In the decision, the Supreme Court also emphasized that the protection to labor extends to all of labor including those in the public sector, and I quote –

Protection to labor, it has been said, extends to all of labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, in the public and private sectors.Besides, there is no reason not to apply this principle in favor of workers in the government. The government, including government-owned and controlled corporations, as employers, should set the example in upholding the rights and interests of the working class.

Until the government actually decides to do that, all these “protection to labor” will be nothing but meaningless drama to JOs who deserve better.

29 thoughts on “The Ordeal of Job Orders in the Government

  1. We have already used the Supreme Court case in Lopez vs. MWSS in justifying the grant of 13th month pay to our JO personnel. It will be a long battle with the COA auditors later on but we are sure that in the end our action is justified. Our government must realize that JO personnel are human beings too whose employment must be protected.

    1. Sir,

      ask ko nga po kung paano yung process ng justification using Lopez et al VS MWSS para sa justification ng 13th month sa mga JO? thanks in advance…

  2. I am a JO personnel for more than two years now with a salary rate of 220/day. I have my CSC-Professional eligibility. I took the job to make it as my stepping stone to have a permanent position in time. But it seems the local government here does not give chances to those with no “connections.” Need your advice on to my next step, and/or how can I practice my right to have a better job opportunity?

  3. Still working as Office Clerk in one of the public schools here in Batangas.. Job Order since 2014. Everytime teachers received their benefits such as PBB, mid Year and cash gift and all other, i’m still hoping that one day the government also give us same benefits too.. I’m also praying permanent positions for Job Orders.

  4. I’m a Job order personnel since 2009 and there’s no 13th month pay, no benefits, no allowances and etc., still there’s no resolution about this matter. i served 7 years, wew. wala paring pagbabago.

  5. I am also a Job order college secretary at a state university for 3 and half yrs now..sad to say we have the same experience …what really sad is that JO na nga always.late pa ang sweldo….tsk

    1. Tama..kawawa talaga mga JO’s. I have the same experience too.TO think most of the time JO services are being abused. We are functioning like permanent employees but no benefits. Very unfair on talaga.

      1. uu nga eh. JOs are the one who do the multitasking. its unfair. tapos in reality may employee-employer relationship talaga. pero pagdating sa incentives or bonuses ayun ngangey.

  6. Meron nga talagang “Iron Curtain Rule” between JOs and Permanents… ramdam ko din dito sa office. lalo na ngayon at humuhingi kaming JO ng kahit konting christmas gift naman sana in lieu of 13th month and Christmas bonus sa mga permanent…

  7. Bakit nga ba wlang karapatan ang mga JOs s mga benefits,13th mnth mas mahirap pa nga trabaho ng mga JOs sa mga permanent eployee pati nga trabaho ng mga permanent employee JO n gumagawa,tapos mga permanent employee akala mo mga boss,tingin nila s JO alipin,anu b basehan ng gumawa ng batas o guidelines o kung anu pba tawag jan,tapos sasabihin p,NO EMPLOYER NO EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP,Kung wlang Job-Order EMPLOYEE d mkakapag operate ng maaayos ang EMPLOYER(company).

  8. Yung JO na kilala ko multi-tasking talaga. Yung isa nga pati pagbili ng food nung mga boss at nung anak ng boss eh inuutos sa kanya. Tapos yung ibang permanent tatakutin pa na hindi marerenew pag hindi sumunod. Uutusan na bumili sa labas paano pag nadisgrasya yung inutusan? Tapos ang bibigyan ng bonus eh yung mga nakapetix lang sa opisina….. Wake up Philippine Government!

  9. 2 years na kong job order clerk sa isang highly respected government agency. at take note national government pa ito. we all wear on the same shoes lalo na pagdating sa benefits at sa pagtingin ng mga regular employees. csc passer ako and still napakahirap pa din ng kumpetisyon sa pagaapply ng regular position, minsan masakit na lang sa loob na mas pinapaburan pa nila ung mga taga labas na nagaapply kesa sa mga matatagal ng nagserbisyo sa mismong opisina. i hope president duterte will get rid of this, JOs are still employees na may mga pamilya at pangangailangan. lalo na ngayong padating na ang christmas hype, nakakaiyak isipin na maski pang handa manlang sa pasko eh di mo mabuno dahil sa liit ng sahod. we are like construction workers na nakabihis ng pormal.

  10. I just have a concern.I am a six month pregnant and our agency (GOCC) is planning to put all contractual into Temporary JO from Agency hired. Possible effectivity of JO status is by January so by early of March I will be giving birth. they said that all under JO status who will deliver within the 6 months contract will be terminated..u think that is fair since their decision to put us in JO status is rushed and seems to be just out of no where?What action can I I just have to accept that I will not have any work after giving birth or even before that?don’t people realize that those who bear children needed more work to feed their family?Thanks for everyone who can help.

      1. Thank u for a month long waiting answer?! Anyways dito po po sa present work ko as a deployed permanent hospitL employee sa newly opened mega drug rehabilitation center ang namumuno sa medical / clinical division ay isang newly hired contractual worker na hinde ko matanggap na pinapasunod nia ako sa kanyang mga kautasan na akoy isang govt permanent employee na morethan a decade now?! Ang kanyang ipinaglalaban sya daw ang ginawang oic ng mga pinunong puro contractual din ?! Qualification wise akoy isang masters degree holder , compared to him na isang col graduate lng?!i am a permanent employee from a national govt pero deployed for a year dito sa project ni pres duterte sa mega drug rehab, walang ibang permanent employee except me na deployed lang?! Sino po may mas karapatan sa aming dakawa na humawak at magpatakbo ng isang office?! Tnx po sa reply

        1. I hope you understand that this is a personal blog which I only attend to in my spare time.
          Kindly read the Disclaimer of my blog.

    1. wala po, but for the sake of respect you can follow that JO lalo n kung sya ang pinagbilinan ng supervisor in the absence of all permanent employee s dept or division. or sya ang inasign ng supervisor as OIC pag walang permanent on the day/s

  11. Our office (attached agency of Department of Agriculture) is moving for the regularization of 40 JOs, legal basis is Lopez vs MWSS.

  12. im a fresh graduate and already passed the civil service exams as i been expecting to land a job sa government for a permanent position ang hirap pala!!!

    ngaun yun isang govt office na pinag applyan ko in-offer sa akin na maging job order nalang ako pinag iisipan ko pa kung sulit para makakuha ng experience and hoping to land a permanent position na rin sa government office.

    anyway any advice sir?

  13. This is it…Joint Circular No. 1 series of 2017 prioritizes JO/COS in filling up vacant positions but there are still government agencies deny this circular because they hire employees based on personal whim and political favor.

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