Sacked NAPC consultants to Maza: Bare plans, staffing needs

CONTRACTUALS. Workers are given the option to reapply to the National Anti-Poverty Commission after lead convenor Liza Maza sacked them in early September.

CONTRACTUALS. Workers are given the option to reapply to the National Anti-Poverty Commission after lead convenor Liza Maza sacked them in early September.

MANILA, Philippines – Terminated contractual workers of the National Anti-Poverty Commission have called on NAPC head Liza Maza to bare details of her plans and staffing requirements, after they were told that they can reapply to the agency.

"We were given an option to reapply without any clear directions on application process, available positions, and task assignments. In fact, we are not yet informed of the new leadership's plans which should dictate the staffing requirements," Kaisahan ng mga Di-Regular na Empleyado ng NAPC (KaDRE) said in a statement on Tuesday, September 27. 

The group also said its members were served termination papers on September 1 without "any feedback as to the process and the results of their assessment," referring to the option to reapply. (READ: 'Bloated' anti-poverty body: Maza dismisses 155 consultants)

The group, composed of 82 sacked contract services personnel, said most of them are opting to reapply, but only after they are apprised of NAPC's instructions.

They have written to Maza to seek a dialogue on the issue but have not received a response yet.

Valuable work 

Following Maza's decision to sack the NAPC consultants, her predecessor, Joel Rocamora, said NAPC under his watch hired 156 consultants to perform crucial functions in the implementation of the agency's grassroots programs. 

KaDRE seconded Rocamora's statement, saying that its members' tasks "enabled the agency to fulfill its mandate – to better provide services to the poor."

"We proposed collaborative processes and engaged government agencies, local government units, civil society and people's organizations to develop and implement projects and plans together such as social housing for poor informal settlers, fish landings, and vegetable gardens," said the group.

KaDRE also stressed that despite their nature of employment, they were required to complete 8 hours of work daily, monitored through a time sheet. They were also ordered to submit a report of their outputs every two weeks.

"We are like regular employees except that we do not enjoy the benefits given to regular workers such as sick leave, vacation leave, overtime pay, and counterpart premiums for our Social Security System and PhilHealth memberships. Our contracts are renewed or terminated based on the performance of our work," KaDRE said.

"We recognize that it has been a practice in government that new appointees exercise their prerogative in reorganizing the agency (including human resource) as they see fit. But we find it contradictory to the sentiments of the current administration on ending contractualization," the group added.

Eliminating the practice of hiring contractual employees was among the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Duterte to companies: Stop contractualization or I will close you– Rappler.com