No mass layoff of Makati city hall casuals

MANILA, Philippines – Casual employees of the Makati city hall whose contracts expired in June should not be worried about a mass layoff.

This was the assurance given by Acting Mayor Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr on Thursday, July 16, following reports he is conducting an inventory of city hall workers to get rid of “ghost” employees.

Ghost employees are those whose names are on the payroll but who do not show up for work. (READ: Senate summons documents on Binay aide's pay)

Peña previously said he is particularly eyeing 4,000 casual employees whose contracts ended on June 30 without being renewed by suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.

Makati City Councilor Marie Alethea Casal Uy, a known supporter of the Binays, then expressed concerns over the possible non-renewal of the casual employees’ contacts in an interview with the Inquirer.

“We have constituents who are casual employees [who said] they were being called one by one. But the people who face them are not from the city’s personnel department but known underlings of Peña,” said Uy.

"I think that's a wrong allegation," Peña told Rappler on Thursday, saying that they are currently in the process of renewing the contracts of the concerned casual employees. 

He said that they are indeed holding interviews as well, but these are being conducted by official city hall workers to "cleanse the city of ghost employees."

"So I don't see any problem with that," said Peña. "Ang ginagawa lang namin is kailangan physical 'yung taong nandoon. Tinitingnan [namin] 'yung kanyang job description para at least kung may ghost employee, malalaman natin."  (READ: Kid Peña to Makati gov't workers: Be professional)

(What we're checking is if they are indeed physically there. We're checking their job description, so at least if there's a ghost employee, we would know about it.)

On Wednesday, Peña also committed to fully automate the payroll system for all city hall employees by the end of 2015 to help get rid of ghost workers.

Peña took his oath as acting mayor on June 30, a day after the Ombudsman issued a second 6-month preventive suspension order against Mayor Binay and 14 others over the alleged rigging of bids for the Makati Science High School building. Binay “temporarily” stepped down as mayor the day after. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

image