Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Thursday, March 19, 2020, echoed the call of his fellow lawmakers for the government to release the compensation of job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) workers affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine imposed to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Kawawa naman po ang ating mga job order at contractual workers kung hindi natin tutulungan (It’s pathetic if we cannot help our job order and contractual workers),” Go said.
He said many of the JO and COS employees are in the government service for a long time already and they have not received the benefits or allowances being enjoyed by the regular employees.
“Wala namang may gusto sa nangyayari ngayon. Kung ang mga empleyado ay kayang swelduhan pa rin, dapat sila din (None of us wanted what is happening now. If we can compensate the regular employees, the JO and COS should also receive (pay),” Go said.
“Sabi ng iba (They said) No work, No pay. Pero ang pangunahing trabaho naman natin lahat ngayon bilang kawani ng gobyerno (But all of us, our main job now as government employees) is to keep our families safe and help stop the spread of the virus. They are doing that and doing their part to help despite not being able to report to work,” he added.
Go said the recommendation was presented during his discussions with fellow senators, particularly Pia Cayetano and Joel Villanueva, who have been continuously pushing for the compensation of JOs and COS amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The compensation, he added, is simply the government’s way of honoring their end of existing job contracts. He also said it is not their fault that most of them could not fulfill their contract given that all agencies are implementing a skeletal workforce.
“Since under contract naman sila, hindi naman ito dagdag gastos sa gobyerno. Allocated na yan para sa kanila. Ibigay nalang natin bilang tulong sa kanilang sakripisyo at para masigurong mabubuhay ng maayos ang kanilang pamilya habang naka-quarantine (Since they are under contract, I think, it’s not additional burden for government. It is already allocated to them. Let’s give it to them as support for their sacrifices and to make sure their families will live decently while we are under quarantine),” he added.
Go also said if the JOs and COS are deprived of compensation, they might end up finding other means to earn a living despite the strict quarantine measures.
“For government job orders and contractuals, it’s no expense because technically they are budgeted already, given they are under contract,” Go said.
Both the Civil Service Commission and Commission on Audit have already expressed support for Go’s proposal, saying that they will recommend the provision of compensation to JOs and COS to the Office of the President and the DBM.