Sponsorship Speech for SB 3554 (An Act Granting Civil Service Eligibility to Casual/Contractual Govt Employees)

Mr. President,

It is my honor to sponsor before this august chamber Senate Bill No. 3554 under Committee Report No. 775, entitled “An Act Granting Civil Service Eligibility to Government employees, Under Certain Conditions, whose Status of Appointment is either Casual or Contractual and Who have Rendered a Total of Five Years of Efficient Service.” 

According to the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government employees or Courage, casual or contractual employees comprise about 8% of the total bureaucracy. Based on statistics gathered by Courage as of 2008, we have 99,749 casual employees and 22,345 contractual employees nationwide. A great number of them have judiciously served the people with efficiency, dedication and to the best of their abilities. It is unfortunate that such exemplary demeanor has not resulted in job security despite their individual years of government service.

Mr. President, it is an established norm that the state dutifully rewards dedicated public service in every which way and form, and Senate Bill No. 3554 precisely aims this by granting civil service eligibility to deserving employees of the government who have rendered at least five years of continuous service. This measure shall cover both casual and contractual employees in the government, whether they occupy positions in the first or second level. However, in order to promote the merit system and maintain professionalism in the government, the employees covered by this bill cannot expect any career advancement or promotion unless they obtain the appropriate eligibility requirements for the said position.

Your honors, this is not the first time that civil service eligibility has been accorded to government employees through legislative fiat. Republic Act No. 6850 or better known as the Rasul Law was passed by Congress in 1990. This law also bestowed civil service eligibility to provisional or temporary government employees who have worked in the government for at least seven years. If we had found wisdom in granting civil service eligibility to that group of employees, the argument for granting the same privilege to our casual and contractual government employees has the equivalent legitimacy.

My distinguished colleagues, I would like to especially mention the efforts of the distinguished minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in painstakingly pushing for the passage of this measure. This representation has built a career based on the idea of a level playing field, that ambition and hard work are the ultimate tools for success and fulfillment. As individuals who possess more legal and legislative wherewithal than most of our country’s bureaucracy, I urge you distinguished colleagues to perform our responsibilities as equalizers and pass this legislative measure to give due credit to our casual and contractual employees.

Thank you Mr. President.