Monday, October 25, 2004


Press Release

Government employees are restive. Many government offices are slated for abolition, privatization, mergers, transfer, reorganization and rationalization which would. Almost everyday, Executive Orders in order to implement these are issued by Malacanang, the most recent of which is EO 366 or the rationalization of the functions and operations of the agencies under the Executive Branch of the government. Recent estimates range 300,00 to 420,000 government workers shall be affected by the administration’s streamlining efforts.

And the employees have reasons to be upset. For while tenured rank and file employees are being targeted for lay-off, early and forced retirement, the President is creating new offices and appointing new officials.

Since July this year, 8 new offices were created with 10 new cabinet level positions appointed to wit: Office the Presidential Adviser on Job Generation headed by former DA Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr., Office of the Cabinet Officer for Provincial Events – Conrado Limcaoco, Offcie of the Political Adviser – Gabriel Claudio, Office of the Communications Director – Silvestre Afable, Presidential Adviser on Revenue Enhancement or PARE – Narciso Santiago and the Office for External Affairs – Eduardo Pamintuan (former NHA General Manager).

New Presidential advisers and consultants were also appointed such as Presidential Adviser for New Government Centers (Rodolfo del Rosario, former Davao del Norte Governor), Presidential Adviser for Rural Electrification (Francisco Silva, former NEA Chief), Pres’l. Adviser for Trade and Development (Rodolfo Severino, former Sec. Gen. Of the ASEAN), Pres’l. Adviser for Region VI (Raphael Coscolluela) and Pres’l. Assistant for Transport and Tricycle Concerns (Ariel Lim).

COURAGE the mother organization of government workers nationwide scored the Arroyo Administration’s “obvious double standard and political accommodations at the expense of the employees”.

“The cash-strapped government while pushing for streamlining of government workers is creating new offices and even allocating millions of funds for its operations to accommodate its political lackeys or those who helped her during the election”. COURAGE National President Ferdinand Gaite cited the new Office of External Affairs, which according to reports duplicates the functions of other government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Anti-Poverty Commission. “Pamintuan’s minions at the OEA have nothing in their credentials to speak of aside from their former links with the militant cause oriented groups which clearly, they capitalized on to corner their posts. These are the same people behind the Kasimbayan and Pro-Gloria machinery of the administration during the elections where millions of government funds where siphoned to, in order to ‘sell’ a candidate the masses so detested”.

Gaite also pointed out Jun Santiago’s appointment as PARE the offcie which was created “to help govt find ways to ease current fiscal crisis”. Santiago is the husband of Senator Miriam Santiago who defected to the administration’s ticket before the election and a kumpare of President Arroyo who is Ninang to their adopted children.

As a sign of protest, employees of the National Housing Authority, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) today staged simultaneous noontime rallies in front of their respective offices. Said agencies are targetted for privatization.

COURAGE anounced that they will hold a nationwide protest against rationalization, privatization, transfer and other forms that directly undermine the employees’ jobs on October 28. Thousands of affected employees are expected to participate nationwide. #

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