By Anna Leah Gonzales

JOB HUNTERS. Jobseekers queue up in the hope of landing viable employment opportunities during a job fair held in a mall in Marikina on Labor Day on Wednesday (May 1, 2024). Some applicants were fortunate to get hired on the spot. (PNA photos by Ben Briones)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has been urged to certify as urgent a proposed bill that seeks to provide civil service eligibility and permanent appointment to all government casual and contractual employees who have rendered at least three years of outstanding government service.

“Amin ding inabot kanina kay Pangulong Marcos, sa pamamagitan ng kanyang aide-de-camp, iyong House Bill 1514 na may kinalaman doon sa equivalency bill na kung saan iyong mga manggagawa doon sa gobyerno na nakapaglingkod na ng tatlong taon at pumasa naman doon sa mga assessments and evaluation ay baka dapat na ring bigyan ng pagkakataong ma-regular. (We also gave President Marcos earlier, through his aide-de-camp, House Bill 1514 that has to do with the equivalency bill where workers in government who have served for three years and passed the assessments and evaluations may also be given the opportunity to be regularized),” National Anti-Poverty Commission Formal Labor and Migrant Workers Sector Sectoral Representative Edwin Bustillos said during the Bagong Pilipinas briefing on Wednesday. 

House Bill 1514 aims to provide civil service eligibility and permanent appointment to all government casual and contractual employees under job orders, contract of service, and similar contracts who have rendered at least three years of outstanding government service.

“Ito ay subject pa doon sa deliberasyon ng Kongreso, kaya ang aming hiling kay Pangulong Marcos Jr. ay i-certify itong batas na ito (This is still subject to deliberation by Congress, so our request to President Marcos Jr. is to certify this act [as urgent]),” Bustillos said.

Aside from the initiative, he said, the Workers Rehabilitation Center Complex was also presented during the Labor Day meeting with labor leaders and other government agencies. 

“So, iyong mga, halimbawa mga wounded soldiers natin, iyong mga nagkaroon ng aksidente at naging PWDs ay may pagkakataon muling makahanap ng trabaho sa pamamagitan ng Workers Rehabilitation Center Complex. (For example, our wounded soldiers, those who had an accident and became PWDs will have the opportunity to find work again through the Workers Rehabilitation Center Complex),” Bustillos said.

A joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the local government of Tanay, and the departments of labor, human settlements, public works, environment, and the interior for the construction of the rehabilitation center.

The soon-to-be-built rehabilitation center in Barangay Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal will provide comprehensive management and treatment for injured workers, with a specific emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach to recovery for their successful reintegration into the workforce.

During the briefing, Bustillos also cited the importance of increasing the purchasing power of workers, ensuring the protection of overseas workers, and freedom of association.

“And lastly, tingin ko, dahil sa tumitinding init at global crisis, particularly sa klima, kailangang bantayan iyong mga implementasyon natin ng ating mga policies, particularly sa occupational health and safety, lalo na iyong mga nagta-trabaho sa construction work (And lastly, I think that due to the intensifying heat and global crisis, we need to watch the implementation of our policies, particularly in occupational health and safety, especially those who do construction work),” he added. (PNA)