Cordillera DSWD contractual laments difficult work-life

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DSWD Cordillera worker Joan Kidatan, far left, attending a forum on social work in Baguio City. Photograph from PIA-Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY – Joan Kidatan, a “contract of service or job order” evaluator for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Cordillera office, holding a permanent job is ever more desirable than stepping from one contract renewal to the next every six months.

She is always hoping that concerned government agencies will enact measures rectifying their job status. For her, nothing beats the feeling of being assured that they have permanent jobs.

“Being in the government and receiving salary is good as it will provide nice income especially for a person with a single status,” Joan tells InterAksyon. “Pero iba nung me pamilya na ako kasi iniisip din namin yung security of tenure namin (Now it’s different that I have a family because we keep thinking of our security of tenure),” Kidatan said.

Senator Ralph Recto had observed that DSWD is a veritable “endo” capital [euphemism for the term end-of-contract] of the government because it employs around 25,000 temporary workers.

DSWD Cordillera Regional Director Janet Armas acknowledges there is little else to do but to rely on around 100 contractual employees to deliver the agency’s services, especially the indigent beneficiaries of the government’s 4Ps program (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program). She said these contractuals make up for DSWD’s insufficient manpower capability to implement the government’s program to the poor and the needy.

According to Armas, not much can be done at the moment because of the cap in authorized number of personnel for DSWD.

Recto had observed that the DSWD, together with the Department of Budget Management (DBM), “must create a pathway for the regularization of these temporary workers, many of whom have been serving for years.”

DSWD Regional Public Information Officer Nerizza Faye Villanueva, there are measures at the moment to help the contractuals. She said that, through the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) with the DSWD workers, they are trying to raise the benefits like granting additional leaves and adjusting compensation.