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A second Senate bill would pay government contractors through the 13th month.

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An additional senator introduced a proposal to give government contractors 13th-month remuneration that is equal to the basic salary paid by a regular state employee.

The 13th-month pay shall be computed pro rata and distributed to all regular employees in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 851 (the 13th Month Pay law) and the Labor Code of the Philippines, according to Senate Bill (SB) No. 1621, which was submitted by Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.

“Pasko is currently underway, however, there are many employees who are still working without receiving their 13th month’s wage. (Christmas is almost approaching, but many of our dedicated employees won’t get their 13th month’s pay.) “Yung mga kasamahan nating contractuals at job orders sa gobyerno, walang matatanggap, eh kapwa din naman silang mga lingkod-bayan. They are our coworkers whether they are contract workers or job order employees, but even if they are also public servants, they won’t get anything, he said in a news release.

In November, Senator Mark Villar introduced SB 1528, also known as the 13th Month Pay Law for Contractual and Job Order Personnel, in recognition of the crucial contributions that COS and JO employees serve in the federal service.

No of their job status, all government employees must get 13th-month compensation under Villar’s proposed legislation.

According to Revilla’s plan, COS or JO personnel will be eligible for the same benefits and allowances as normal employees.

“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” is how the Civil Service Commission defined COS.

Contrarily, JO refers to “piece work (pakyaw)” or irregular or emergency jobs like clearing debris from roads, canals, and other waterways after natural or man-made disasters or other occurrences, as well as other manual/trades and crafts services like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and similar. These positions are for a limited time and a specialized task.

There are 2,462,534 employees in the government as of June, according to the Inventory of Government Human Resources, with 642,077 of those employees, or nearly 26%, being JO and COS professionals.

“The work that you do is typical of the work done by everyday people. There is no doubt; they are indeed members of the government. They perform work that is identical to that of normal employees; they are currently being paid the same benefits as those workers. They work just as hard as any other government employee, without a question. The Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization, and Professional Regulation’s chair, Revilla, argued that it is only reasonable to provide them with benefits that are comparable to those that regular employees receive.

Senators Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Villar, and Revilla have each introduced one of four measures that would increase the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance of state employees from PHP2,000 to PHP4,000 per month.

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