July 12, 2021

PCOO has being encouraged to create more plantilla jobs for COS employees.

More plantilla or regular jobs at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) may become available for the contract of service (COS) employees in the near future (PCOO).

Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Kristian Ablan stated that the PCOO has requested additional plantilla positions from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in order to accommodate COS employees following the confirmation of a 2020 Commission on Audit (COA) report stating that the PCOO hired 375 COS personnel.

“We have requested more plantilla items from Secretary [Wendel] Avisado at the Department of Labor and Employment so that our contract of service [workers] can be promoted to regular positions (We have requested more plantilla items from Secretary Avisado at the Department of Labor and Employment so that our contract of service [workers] can be promoted to regular positions),” he said in an interview with dzBB.

According to Ablan, who also serves as the program director for the Freedom of Information (FOI) initiative, certain COS workers will also be required to take special Civil Service (SC) tests this month in order to be considered for plantilla posts.

In the case of a contract of service, it is possible that CS will be ineligible for it. As a result, we have established contact with the Civil Service Commission in order to hold a special test at the Buwan ng Hulyo for those COS employees who want to become regular employees (There are COS employees who are not CS qualified). As a result, we are working with the Civil Service Commission to hold special examinations this month for COS employees who want to apply for regular jobs) “He went on to say more.

Ablan said that the DBM has given the PCOO about 34 plantilla jobs too far, but that the agency is trying to increase this number.

He also justified the necessity for additional COS employees to be hired to oversee the implementation of new government initiatives and projects that arose as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic.

It was he who stated, “We took over the programs of other agencies,” adding, “We took on board the programs of other agencies that were in need of more personnel.” “We took on board the programs of other agencies that were in need of additional workforce.”

In addition, Ablan said that the number of COS employees has dropped from 375 to 305.

COS workers were paid about PHP15,000 per month for contracts that ranged from three to six months to one year in length, according to him.

He also said that the PCOO has developed a method of verification to avoid the employment of “ghost workers,” or individuals who are on the payroll of an agency but do not really work for the agency.

There is a method of verification in place to verify that these workers are producing results, he said.

State auditors had previously questioned the PCOO over the employment of 375 COS workers for public relations work in 2020, which resulted in expenditures of more than PHP70.6 million in salary for the personnel.

Only 144 permanent workers work for the PCOO out of a total workforce of over 500, with the other employees being on a contract basis.

On Friday, Ablan said that the newly recruited COS employees are not trolls, but rather have jobs in the “highly technical” fields of videography, editing, filmmaking, and social media management.

“Social media experts are not synonymous with trolls…

They don’t behave in the manner in which we would expect a troll to behave. It is not within the jurisdiction of the PCOO,” Ablan stated in an interview broadcast on ABS-CBN.

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