‘Provincial board OK’d salary of Eastern Samar contract workers’

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
�Provincial board OK�d salary of Eastern Samar contract workers�
Workers are seen performing their duties at a constructi site in Taguig on February 7, 2024.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — The salary of contract of service (COS) and job order (JO) employees in Eastern Samar was in accordance with the rate approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan based on the provincial government’s budgetary capacity, according to Gov. Ben Evardone.

“The provisions of the Labor Code, particularly those pertaining to conditions of employment such as minimum wage rates for private sector workers, do not apply to government employees,” Evardone clarified in a statement sent to The STAR.

“Local government units may have their own wage ordinances that determine the minimum wage or compensation for its JOs, which may be influenced or guided by the... minimum wage for private sector, but ultimately the primary consideration would be the LGU’s budgetary capacity,” Evardone added.

He was reacting to a Commission on Audit 2023 annual audit report on Eastern Samar, which called out the provincial government after payrolls submitted showed that 1,923 out of the 2,106 COS and JO employees of the provincial government were paid only P300 per day from January to April.

The daily minimum wage in Eastern Visayas is P375.

Evardone said Article 82, Book 3 of the Labor Code exempts government employees from the “conditions of employment such as minimum wage rates.”

The wage order does not mention that government employees or the government sector are bound to comply with the prescribed rate.

Evardone said he directed the provincial government’s budget, accounting and treasury offices to comply with the audit recommendations.

He said he also instructed concerned offices to look into the delay in the release of the salaries of COS and JO employees.

Evardone said the delay may be due to late submission of accomplishment reports by concerned employees.

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