Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday criticized the Office of Transportation Security for its failure to provide the benefits due to its employees which led to the latter’s recent protest.
This week, the OTS personnel aired their grievances by wearing red armbands over the benefits which they allegedly never received including annual performance-based bonus, annual collective negotiation agreement, leave credit monetization and team building allowance.
The OTS personnel are the ones who man security checks at airports.
“Government should not be remiss in taking care of its own employees,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva, also the chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, added the situation in the OTS “shows that more attention should be given to ensure that regular employees receive their legally mandated benefits and emoluments.”
In an article, Senior OTS inspector Liza Abacan said the OTS management failed to increase the salary of its personnel from salary grade four to salary grade eight.
She added the Department of Budget and Management “refused to allocate funds for the salary standardization of employees.”
The budget of OTS comes from terminal fees of domestic and international passengers.
The OTS gets P15 from P200 paid by a domestic passenger and P60 from the P550 terminal fee paid by an international passenger.
From January to November 2018, a total P451-million terminal fees from international passengers were remitted by the Manila International Airport Authority and another P131 million from domestic passengers.
“Aside from this problem, one major issue being confronted by the government is the huge number of job orders and contractual workers in the public sector,” Villanueva lamented.
The senator shared a 2017 data from the CSC which showed that 660,390 or 27 percent out of 2.4 million government workers were COS or JO workers. In 2016, there were over 595,000 contractuals in the public sector.
To address this, Villanueva filed Senate Bill No. 1164 which aims to provide permanent positions to government workers who have long been serving as contractual workers in the public sector.
“It is unfortunate to know that while we are striving to pass a law that will give security of tenure to our workers, another burden has come up and that is the incompetence of some government agencies to provide its employees the rightful benefits due to them,” he said.
“To neglect this would definitely paralyze the efficient delivery of basic services to our people,” he added.