MANILA, Philippines – Citing his campaign promise to end patronage politics in his city, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto announced that he has regularized 53 qualified city hall employees who had been contractual workers for decades – one for as long as 43 years.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, January 21, Sotto specifically cited Pasig City Hall employee Roberto Rodrigo, who had been a contractual worker "for over 43 years."
"Permanent na siya ngayon (He has been regularized)," he said in a post accompanied by a picture of the mayor with Rodrigo, which Sotto had had made his Facebook profile picture.
He said he also regularized 52 other qualified city hall workers who had been working as contractual employees for over 20 years – without any political considerations.
Sotto recalled that during the campaign, he had promised to insulate ordinary government workers from politics. (READ: Vico Sotto's politics: Open to compromise but never to corruption)
"Dati, lagi silang tinatakot na makikita kung sino ang binoboto nila at di na sila ire-renew kapag dun sila sa 'kalaban.' Ngayon, wala nang ganitong takutan. Nagsimula na rin tayo sa regularisasyon ng mga kawani nating kwalipikado, para sa seguridad at dignidad sa trabaho," he said.
(In the past, they were threatened that they would not be renewed if they voted for the 'enemy.' That kind of intimidation ends today. We also began regularizing employees who are qualified, for job security and dignity.)
"Walang politika sa pagdedesisyon natin dito. Pinapatay natin ang palakasan o 'patronage' sa pamahalaan (There is no political considerations in this decision. We are killing patronage politics in government)," the mayor added.
He said in Filipino that this was in line with his bid for a "local government with a bureaucracy that has integrity, high capacity, and insulated from politics." – Rappler.com
Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.