Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Virginia “Gee” N. Orogo reiterated her strong support to the efforts of the Department to push for the regularization of workers who are under Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Cost of Service Workers (COS) amid the effectivity of Joint Circular No. 1 Series of 2017 or Rules and Regulations Governing Contract of Service and Job Order (JO) workers in Government by the Civil Service Commission, Department of Budget and Management, and the Commission on Audit.

She expressed her support to allay fears of MOA/COS and JO workers following the circulation within the Department of a Terms of Reference (TOR) for Institutional Contract of Service for a Manpower Agency with DSWD.

The TOR stated that in compliance to the Joint Order, COS/JO workers shall be hired by the DSWD thru institutional contract of services effective January 2019.

“My office has nothing to do with the drafting and circulation of this TOR. I want to emphasize that I continue to push for the regularization of our COS/JO workers. In fact, I have been constantly monitoring the status of the proposal to regularize some 12,000 MOA/COS workers which the Department submitted to DBM,” Sec. Orogo said.

She said that she condemns the circulation of the TOR and will order an investigation to know who drafted this without proper consultation with her and the Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines (SWEAP), the union of DSWD employees which is pushing for regularization not sub-contractualization; direct hiring, not manpower agency hiring.

For its part, SWEAP said it also strongly condemns the circulating TOR.

“The authors of the said draft, by formulating this measure without the instruction and knowledge of the DSWD Management, have betrayed COS/MOA and JO workers manifested by their lack of understanding and genuine support to the struggle both of SWEAP and the Office of the Secretary for the regularization of our MOA/JO workers,” Manny Baclagon, SWEAP President said in a statement emailed over the weekend to DSWD employees and officials.

Baclagon added that SWEAP remains firm in its stand and struggle to achieve justice for MOA/JO workers and not to allow the relegation of the performance of DSWD mandates by workers to another entity, private or not, which has no legal mandate to do so.

“Contracts such as this is prone to graft and corruption.  We don’t want to think that the eagerness on the part of those who initiated the drafting of this TOR has tainted motivations in mind,” Baclagon  further stated.

He said that the Association-Management Consultative Committee (AMCC) is set to meet on July 26 to discuss the matter.

“We thank Sec. Orogo for the positive response of her Office to our concerns. We also thank our fellow DSWD employees who support the SWEAP struggles for the regularization of our MOA/JO workers,” Baclagon ended. ###