MANILA — Lawmakers are urged to lower the mandatory and optional retirement ages for government workers, the Civil Service Commission said Friday.
The current mandatory retirement age for government employees in the Philippines is 65, while the optional retirement is age 60, according to CSC commissioner Aileen Lizada.
"I went around Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao nung 2019 and 99 or 98 percent po ng mga kawani ng gobyerno ay gusto na po ng optional retirement...Kasi ang iba ho pagod na, iba may sakit na, baka this is also good to infuse younger blood, younger generation. Give others who would like to retire a time for their family or a small business," she told ANC's Headstart.
(I went around Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao in 2019 and 99 or 98 percent of government workers want to avail of optional retirement...Some are tired, some are sick, maybe this is also good for infusing younger blood, younger generation.)
"Kasi this one I think marami ho ang mag-a-avail...Tingnan ang ilang mawawala, baka konti na lang ang gagawin niyo or baka di na kayo tutuloy sa rightsizing."
(I think for this one, many would avail of the opportunity...Let's study this, maybe we won't need that much rightsizing, if at all.)
Government, however, has to study where it will source funds for retirement packages, she added.
There are some 2 million government workers, according to Lizada. Around 633,000 are job orders and contracts of service, while there are "more than 150,000" unfilled positions, she said.
"Ito ho ang clamor ng CSC noon pa, bakit ayaw niyong i-fill up ang positions ninyo, that’s why you’re hiring JOs and COS. Tingnan ho natin ang unfilled positions natin," she said.
(This has long been the clamor of the CSC. Why don't you fill up your positions and instead hire JOs and COS? Let's look at our unfilled positions.)
"In fairness to JOs and COS, ang iba ho 20, 30 years in service but when they retire they're not considered as government employees so wala ho silang natatanggap na retirement pay."
(Some JOs and COS have been in the service for 20, 30 years, but they're not considered as government employees so they don't receive retirement pay.)
Government employees group COURAGE backs CSC's call for the regularization of JOs and COS workers, said its president Santiago Dasmariñas Jr.
"Matagal na po sila sa gobyerno, bakit di po nila bigyan ng plantilla positions. Ang iba po dito deka-dekada na po. 'Wag po kaming gawing sacrificial lambs, marami naman pong puwedeng gawin na pag-save, nandyan po ang corruption bakit di po i-stop 'yan," he said.
(They've been in government for a long time, why not give them plantilla positions? Some of them have served for decades. Don't make us sacrificial lambs, there are many ways we can save funds, why don't we stop corruption?)
"Noong nakaraang administration may Pharmally, PhilHealth...Gawan po natin ng maayos na collection of taxes both in BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) and Customs."
(In the previous administration, there were issues with Pharmally, PhilHealth... Let's fix tax collection both in the BIR and Customs.)
Dasmariñas said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos had promised during the campaign period he would regularize JOs and COS workers.
"Nagulantang lalo kami kasi nagsalita ang DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman that shredding 5 percent of redundant staff can save P4.8 billion. Dahil gusto mag-save kami po ang ginamit na sacrificial lambs," he said.
(We were more surprised when DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said shredding 5 percent of redundant staff can save P4.8 billion. Because they want to save money, we will be used as sacrificial lambs.)
Dasmarinas also called for a minimum wage of P25,000 for government employees and support for pending bills allowing collective bargaining agreement.