MANILA – Malacañang on Friday lauded the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA) for issuing interim guidelines governing the compensation for contractual government workers during the month-long implementation of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the DBM and COA’s issuance of a joint circular would be a big help for government workers under a contract of service (COS) or job order (JO) arrangement, while Luzon is under quarantine to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“The Office of the President welcomes the timely issuance by its Department of Budget and Management and the Commission on Audit, an independent constitutional body, of Joint Circular No. 1, (signed in) 2020,” Panelo said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night declared that Luzon would be put under quarantine until April 12.
Most work in Luzon is suspended during the implementation of the community quarantine.
Those exempted from work suspension are soldiers, policemen, authorized government workers, and other persons whose job is to provide essential services.
Joint Circular 1, signed by DBM and COA on Thursday, provides that COS and JO workers who will be part of the agency skeletal workforce and will be able to physically report for work during the quarantine period may be granted the appropriate additional benefit, as may be authorized by the Office of the President.
COS and JO workers who will be required to work from home would be paid their corresponding salaries during the quarantine period, according to the joint circular.
The joint circular also states that contractual government workers who will not be required to report for work due to work suspension and those who are not part of the agency skeletal workforce would also be paid their corresponding wages during the quarantine period, “as exception to the no work, no pay, principle for this occasion only.”
However, institutional COS workers assigned in government agencies to provide services such as janitorial, security, consultancy and other support services are excluded from the coverage of the order.
Panelo said the prompt efforts of COA and DBM would alleviate the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 on government workers “who have been anxious of their situation.”
“This is one less worry for them and their families,” he said.
Panelo was optimistic that local government units and the private sector would adopt a similar policy.
“As the Palace joins COA and DBM in encouraging local government units to adopt the guidelines specified in Joint Circular No. 1 (s. 2020), it also trusts that its partners in the private sector will be inspired in providing the same policy to their workers under similar work arrangements,” he said. (PNA)