Ormoc City officials told: Justify P132M on job order hires

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    THE Ormoc City government spent a whopping P132.58 million to pay the wages of 2,496 job order employees hired in 2019 but government auditors said there was no record of what jobs were available or what functions they performed during their employment.

    Based on the 2019 audit report, the JO employees comprised 69 percent of all city government workers paid by the city and outnumbered available plantilla positions by 227 percent.

    Despite the huge amount involved, the Commission on Audit said the city has no clear policy or guidelines for such hiring prompting questions on necessity and propriety.

    The chances of landing an appointment also relied heavily on “padrino” system.

    “JOs were hired based on endorsements from the department heads, city councilors, and heads of barangay coordinating committees (BCCs). The BCC heads were allotted a certain number of JOs whom they could endorse…thus the hiring was purely subjective,” the audit team pointed out.

    However, the contracts did not provide details on the nature of work the JO hire would be required to do, making it difficult for auditors to evaluate whether the JO workers were really needed by the office they were assigned to.

    “The absence of such information indicates that at the time of the hiring, there was no specific task for a JO to perform…to justify the necessity of hiring them,” the team added.

    It reminded city officials of their mandate to ensure that government funds are safeguarded from wastage or unjustified use.

    The COA recommended that the city government limit the hiring of JO personnel only where the need is most necessary to complement the local government’s work force.

    It likewise required the formulation of written guidelines that will govern hiring of additional manpower in an impartial selection process.

    Ormoc City officials agreed and assured the commission that a system of reporting will be created to enable the city government and the audit team to quantify the services rendered by JO hires.