July 4, 2017

Contract of Service (COS) and Job Order (JO) workers should not be made to perform functions which are part of the job description of the agency’s existing regular employees.

This was stressed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as it disclosed the Rules and Regulations Governing Contract of Service and Job Order Workers in the Government which it signed jointly with the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The Joint Circular No. 1, s. 2017 clarifies the nature of COS and Job Order (pakyaw) and addresses issues on the lack of social protection of workers and inequality in benefits and the obscure accountability of COS and Job Order workers due to lack of employee-employer relationship with the hiring agency.

The Joint Circular covers all National Government Agencies, Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations with original charters, State Universities and Colleges, and Constitutional bodies, which avail of the services of COS and Job Order workers.

The circular defined Contract of Service as the engagement of the services of an individual, private firm, other government agency, non-governmental agency or international organization as consultant, learning service provider or technical expert to undertake special project or job within a specific period. It also provides that the term of contract between the agency and the individual contractor shall be for a maximum period of one year, renewable at the option of the Head of the procuring entity, but in no case shall exceed the term of the latter.

Job Orders, on the other hand, refer to piece work (pakyaw) or intermittent or emergency jobs such as clearing of debris on the roads, canals, waterways, etc. after natural/ man-made disasters/occurrences and other manual/trades and crafts services such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and the like. These jobs are of short duration and for a specific piece of work.

To address the issue on compensation and benefits, the Joint Circular provides the rules on the payment of services under Individual Contract of Service and Job Order. Individuals hired through Contract of Service shall be paid the prevailing market rates, subject to the provisions of Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

The Joint Circular provides options to individuals hired through COS to enroll themselves in social benefit programs such as the SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund, as self-employed members.

It also directs government agencies to review their functions, systems and procedures, organizational structure, and staffing to determine the appropriate manpower complement for their programs/ activities/projects. Creation of permanent positions may be considered for regular functions, while hiring of casual or contractual personnel may be considered for projects and activities that are temporary in nature, subject to approval of the oversight agencies concerned and to existing budgeting and accounting rules and regulations.

The public may access the CSC-COA-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, s. 2017 at https://goo.gl/RvAPdy.