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COA hits UP’s contractual hiring scheme

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

MANILA – The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the country’s premiere state university to address the problem of “endo” in their backyard which is being implemented for the last 29 years.

Based on its 2017 annual report, state auditors questioned the manpower hiring practice of the University of the Philippines (UP) especially the campuses in Manila (UP Manila) and inside the Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) which both showed the lacked “employer-employee relationship.”

A total 1,028 personnel indicated in the COA report that were employed through service contracts or job order scheme that are renewed every six months or one year “or a period ranging from six months to 29 years.”

In the report, the “employer-employee relationship” was not present in the hiring of 349 job order of contractual employees of UP Manila. The contractual appointment of the said UP Manila personnel is renewed every six months or one year for a period of one to 22 years.

Meanwhile, a total of 679 personnel of the UP-GH were also hired without “employer-employe relationship” through six months to one-year employment renewals. The report disclosed that this kind recruitment process has been going on in the past 20 years.

State auditors said the hiring scheme was “not in conformity” with Section 41 of the general provisions of the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and Paragraph 7 of the Joint Circular NO. 1-2017 issued by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), COA and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Based on the provisions of the 2017 National Budget, contractual personnel may only be hired if they will perform functions that cannot be provided by the regular or permanent staff of the hiring office. The joint circular also contained the same provision.

COA stressed that the records indicated that the state university “did not consistently apply the principle of protection of the rights of workers and the promotion of their welfare, as an institution of higher learning.”

The audit agency warned that officials found to have violated this provision of the joint circular might be held administratively liable although the report also acknowledged the reasons for the hiring of additional personnel to augment the UP Manila and UP-PGH personnel.

State auditors urged the UP administration to review and fill up vacant plantilla items, or request the DBM for additional regular plantilla items if needed. COA also urged the management of the state university to comply with the provisions of the CSC-COA-DBM joint circular.