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Rough Cuts | Whose employees are the JOs and CoS?

The City Traffic and Transport Management Office (CTTMO), the unit in Davao City also tasked by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to clear roads of obstruction as mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte, has claimed that it has already accomplished 90 percent of its job.

CTTMO chief, our idol policeman (while he was still in service) Ret. Col. Dionisio Abude, said that as of October 14, 2019, only roads in five areas in the city were left uncleared of obstructions. And these are in Mintal, Toril, Milan area in Buhangin, and Fr. Selga and F. Torres sts. in downtown Davao.

We are inclined to believe the claim since it comes from my policeman idol Abude. But we really do not know if the good CTTMO head had the opportunity to move around the city’s developing areas where there are already burgeoning economic activities due to the growing number of population.

Yes, we have personally observed certain areas where sidewalks are being allocated by enterprising vendors somewhat permanently having been cleared recently. We have seen lateral roads in Bangkal area rid of occupants although the job has not been fully completed yet. Still, there are a lot more roads where even the easements remained in possession of those who are earning their keeps thereat.

Meanwhile, we are encouraging Colonel Abude to personally, or if he could not find time, order a team from his office, to conduct an inspection at Km. 22, Los Amigos in Tugbok district, specifically starting at the crossing leading to Barangay Biao Guianga.

We doubt if his men will miss seeing a train-like line of houses constructed right on top of the canal on the road side that serves as the drain for rainwater coming from the elevated area of the barangay. Worst, the edges of the row of houses already occupy a portion of the road easement.

If our idol’s men cannot see those houses and how much these have constricted almost a kilometer of the road going to Biao Guianga, then we recommend that Colonel Abude sends them to an eye doctor.

What about the responsibilities of barangay captains in seeing to it that their villages be freed of any occupants of properties belonging to the government?

We are asking this question because it appears that the rise of informal settlers happen right on the very noses of barangay officials. The Los Amigos canal “invaders” is one case in point. And if the CTTMO monitoring team will travel farther inland it will surely find that right on the road canal fronting a barangay hall two stores used as residence at the same time are built on top. Every working day the village executives led by the chair cannot miss seeing the said structures. Not only that these have blocked a side of the barangay hall, these have become eyesores as well.

Why the village officials have not lifted a finger about it is beyond our comprehension. Of course there are talks that the store-residence owners are strong supporters of the village chieftain. That may very well answer our question.


Well, this is something that “di ko ma gets.”

We mean the statement of Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio that “We recognize that even though they (referring to contract of service or CoS and job order or JO workers) are not employees of the city, they nevertheless, work hard like any of us.”

What we quoted here is part of Mayor Inday’s State-of-the-City Address delivered last Monday. In that address the lady mayor promised to give the job order and contract of service employees an increase of P220 per month starting in 2020. The mayor said “there are an estimated 10,000 local government employees, including (emphasis ours) JOs and CoS, that will benefit in the salary increase.”

Now who is employing the JOs and the CoS to work for the city government of Davao if they are not its employees? And if indeed they are not, why will the local government oblige to give them an increase?

With this report we cannot help but suspect that there is truth to claims that the biggest violator of labor laws, specifically on the issue of contractualization, is the government itself. But like in the private sector the government also has its way of using language gobbledygook to cushion the impact of being charged as one.

Several years back they call these types of government workers “casuals.” Most if not all of them are political accommodations – recommended by leaders of sitting politicians. In later years the term evolved into JOs and CoS. And this happened when labor groups started pressuring the government for workers’ security of tenure.

And as the same issue is further heating up, both government and private sector employers are finding ways to dock full compliance of whatever existing legislation relative to workers’ security of tenure.

Now, as far as the City Government of Davao is concerned, isn’t it the one that authorizes the hiring of JOs? Isn’t it one of the contracting parties in the Contract of Employment of the CoS workers?

“Di ba makalibog gyud?”

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