• 04/25/2019
  • 06:18 PM
League Online News


The Department of Public Works and Highways Eastern Visayas regional office in Palo, Leyte. (File photo) 

PALO, Leyte — Concerns have been raised over the directive not to renew this year the contracts of more than 300 personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office here.

Only 73 of the 436 job order employees of the regional office last year here will return to work this week, Susan Duero, DPWH Region 8 financial management division chief, said in an interview Wednesday.

“About 56 of them are engineers and 17 are support staff. It was ordered by our main office that the composition of our hiring should be 70 percent licensed civil engineers and 30 percent non-technical personnel,” she added.

With only 17 slots for non-engineers, the agency has to prioritize the rehiring of drivers instead of encoders, clerks, and cleaners.

The rehiring process has started on Tuesday, two weeks after the affected workers were told not to report for duty starting Jan. 1 since the agency has no funds to pay their salaries.

The pending approval of the 2019 General Appropriation Act has rendered 3,700 job order employees jobless. They are assigned at the regional office and 13 district offices of the DPWH in six provinces of the region.

“Some district engineering offices asked their job order employees to work as they expect that the 2019 budget will be approved soon. We hope this order will be modified,” Duero added.

The reenacted budget woes will not affect contractual road maintenance workers since their salary is charged to the agency’s maintenance and operating expense.

The rehiring guideline is based on the memorandum issued by DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain issued on Dec. 19, 2018.

“We need job orders because our regular staff cannot supervise all infrastructure projects in the entire region,” Duero added.

The regional office is tasked to implement 106 high impact projects with a total cost of PHP7.19 billion initially listed in the 2019 National Expenditure Program.

In addition, the DPWH expects to implement more projects from Department of Education for school building, Department of Trade and Industry for roads leading to industries, and Department of Tourism for road access to tourism sites. (PNA)

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