Friday, November 12, 2004

NR1110:No to Lateral attrition and government re-org

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release November 10 , 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Celphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

Anakpawis Solons score proposed Lateral Attrition bill and PGMA's
Rationalization scheme; says GMA will have a crisis of governance if attacks
against employees continue


Anakpawis Representatives Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano today called urged
fellow solons to take a stand against the anti-labor, anti-employee measures of
Malacanang, saying that Congress should thumb down House Bill No. 2996 or the
Committees on Civil Service and Professional Regulation, Oversight, Ways &
Means and Appropriation's report no. 28 authored mainly by Representatives
Danilo Suarez, Imee Marcos, Mauricio Domogan, Francis Nepomuceno, Jesli Lapus,
and Rolando Andaya Jr. among others. The bill, titled "An Act Providing for
Optimum Performance in Revenue Collection through the Grant of Special
Incentives and Rewards for Exemplary Service and through Lateral Attrition in
revendue generating agencies of the government and for other purposes," is more
commonly known as the LAL, or the lateral attrition law.

The proposed measure was presented to the congressional body yesterday for
interpellation. Beltran and Mariano slammed the bill, saying that it was full
of holes and violative of the Bill of Rights provisions on due process. "It
attacks government employees and blames them for crisis that is the
government's own making."

The activist lawmakers said that Malacanang was posed to launch the most
comprehensive bureaucracy downsizing campaign. They said that Congress was
taking its cue from President Arroyo's Executive Order No.366 passed last
October 4, 2004 titled "Directing a Strategic Review of the Operations and
Organizations of the Executive Branch and Providing Options and Incentives for
Government Employees who may be affected by the Rationalization of the
Functions and Agencies of the Executive Branch."

Under the EO, there will be the scaling down, phasing out or abolition of
agencies that (1.) duplicate or overlap with other programs and activities of
other offices, (2) those considered redundant, outdated or no longer relevant
to the times and (3) those that directly compete with those of the private
sector.

Beltran said the EO has adverse effects on the employees such as the
contractual, casual and on a temporary basis employees that were no longer
renewed early this year. Regular employees who opt to remain in government
service shall be placed in other agencies by the Civil Service Commission but
will no longer receive the allowances and other benefits they used to receive
in the past. And those who object to new assignmente shall be deemed separated
or retired.

"The President's so-called silver parachute is nothing but an empty, worthless
metaphor. The touted Retirement pay is also alreadyprovided for by the existing
laws which an ordinary employee may avail when the right time comes. As for the
supposed additional retirement package - it's so meager, it's insulting. It's
an affront to employees who gave the best years of their lives in service - ½
mo. of present basic salary for every year of service for those who have
rendered 20 years and below, ¾ mo. for those 21-30 years and 1 month for those
who served 31 years and more."

"Pres. Arroyo and her allies in Congress are hell-bent on passing the lateral
attrition bill and implementing a comprehensive downsizing scheme of the
bureaucracy. Contrary to their assertions - these steps will not improve
efficiency much less wipe out corruption; in fact it will only worsen the
services government provides to its constituency, and cement corruption. The
higher-ups in most agencies remain in office, or at the least, made to
transfer to other agencies where they will only serve to maintain the system of
corruption," Beltran said.

They warned of a nationwide 'civilian-employee uprising' as thousands of
government employees nationwide protest government's plans to lay-off some
420,000 of the 1.5 million employees nationwide as part of its rationalization
program. They also said that the president will have a crisis of governance if
she continues to attack government employees. "She is engendering animosity and
disloyalty among the civil servants," they said.

Among the employees up in arms over the planned lay-offs are from the Department
of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism at
Department of Transportion and Communication, the departments targeted for
transfer of location to to Iloilo, Davao, Cebu and Clark respectively.

Employees based in Quezon City such as from the National Housing Authority,
National Food Authority, Bureau of Plants Industry, Bureau of Animals Industry,
National Irrigation Administration, National Printing Office, National
Telecommunications Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
MMDA, Department of Social Welfare and Development, PTV 4, Philippine Postal
Corporation-QC Branch also are protesting against the bureaucracy downsizing
schemes. Employees from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs,
Philippine Ports Authority, Department of Labor and Employment and other
offices are also affected by the downsizing.#

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