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Isko gives JO, contractual employees early Xmas

Isko Moreno and Honey Lacuña
Mayor Isko Moreno signs the ordinance granting P5,000 financial assistance to contractual and job order personnel. Looking on are Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, majority floorleader Joel Chua and Councilor Lei Lacuna, head of the Liga ng mga Barangay. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

CHRISTMAS came early for thousands of job order (JO) and contractual employees in Manila.

This, after Mayor Isko Moreno signed the administration-backed Ordinance No. 8701 which provides each worker with P5,000 in financial assistance.

The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the Manila City Council headed by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna as its presiding officer, majority floorleader Atty. Joel Chua and president pro tempore Jong Isip, allots some P49.8 million for the purpose.

Contractual and JO employees get to be renewed every six months and do not enjoy the benefits of regular employes.

Moreno said the grant of financial help to the workers amid the pandemic is expected to cushion the impact of the crisis brought by COVID-19 which pushed many to poverty.

Even if they are not regular employes, JOs and contractual employes are considered part and parcel of the city government and their contribution and hard work deserve recognition, Moreno said.

JOs and contractual employes are workers who are hired to perform a specific job for a period not exceeding six months. They are not covered by Civil Service rules and regulations although they are covered by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Moreno has directed city treasurer Jasmin Talegon to process the payments as soon as possible. City personnel head Jo Quintos said there are at least 8,010 such workers in the city.

Chua said the ordinance also covers consultants like doctors and lawyers and explained that while the law provides that funds shall be available exclusively for the specific purpose for which they have been appropriated and no ordinance shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations from one item to another, the local chief executive or the presiding officer of the Sanggunian concerned may, by ordinance, be authorized to augment any item in the approved annual budget for their respective offices from savings in other items within the same expense class of their respective appropriations.

Meanwhile, Moreno announced plans to install CCTV cameras in the premises of the Manila Regional Trial Court and the Metropolitan Trial Courts (MTC).

Itchie G. Cabayan
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