An instructor of the the only state university in Bohol spilled the beans on the lack of job security tormenting hundreds of teachers and has put on the line the quality of education of the thousands of students enrolled in it’s main campus and satellite campuses.
Bohol Island State University (BISU), the premier science and technology university in Bohol is now facing a complaint filed with the Civil Service Commission, Bohol Field Office by Ryan M. Gases, an instructor of the College of Technology and Allied Sciences (CTAS), BISU Main Campus (BISU-MC) after he was informed by the BISU-MC Human Resource Management Office that “the hiring of instructors is on a contract of service or “COS” basis and are not considered as government service”.
Taking the cudgels for his colleagues who choose to remain silent for fear of termination of their contracts, Gases told theChronicleÂ that “there are instructors who has rendered seven years of service – four years under COS and three years as casual before the COS arrangement was implemented”.
Gases, who was hired as an instructor of BISU-Main Campus starting June 26, 2015 wrote a letter of inquiry to Elpidio Magante, BISU President and Dr. Vicente Barbarona, Administrative Officer V, HRMO about the university’s hiring policy for instructors under COS.
Barbarona confirmed the COS hiring policy is pursuant to Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular (CSC MC) 17 s. 2002 but Magante has yet to reply to Gases letter.
Implemented by BISU on 2012, CSC MC 17 s. 2002 on Policy Guidelines for Contract of Services recognized that contracts of services and job orders are not considered as government service but admits that these type of services “has been used to circumvent Civil Service rules and regulations particularly its mandate of merit and fitness.
Also, CSC MC 17 s. 2002, instructors under COS are not entitled to the additional compensation allowance (ACA), personnel economic relief allowance (PERA), representation and transportation allowance (RATA), mid-year, productivity, incentive and christmas bonuses including cash gifts.
“The dire consequences of this arrangement”, Gases told theÂ ChronicleÂ is “the COS type of contract, according to the CSC is not of employment, services rendered are not considered as government service and instructors cannot avail of the benefits enjoyed by government employees”.
“This is a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads since there is no employer-employee relationship and in my case threats of contract termination has been implied in my talks with top university officials for raising this concern”.
NO CONTRACT, NO PAY
According to Gases, under the COS contract which he signed, he was assigned a teaching load of 33 units spread out to 11 sections with an average attendance of 40 students.
A copy of a COS shown to theÂ ChronicleÂ by GasesÂ provides that an instructor will be paid at the rate of P450 per day and will be given a maximum teaching overload of ten hours a week at the rate of P105.00 per hour.
A Bachelor of Laws graduate of Holy Name University Law School, Gases teaches Ethics, Human Resource and Personality, Philippine History, Government and Constitution ten hours a day or fifty hours a week – Monday to Friday.
According to Gases, despite rendering the required number of hours of teaching as stipulated in the agreement “I was not paid my salary since the start of my contract and my COS has yet to be signed by three of the five signatories to the contract”.
CSC Resolution No. 020790 on Policy Guidelines for Contract of Services prohibits the inclusion of provisions in the COS that requires employees to work on the regular function performed by the regular personnel of the hiring agency.
The resolution also forbids COS contracts to require employees to report to office and render service from 8AM-5PM or forty hours a week
But despite the prohibitions stated in the CSC resolution, Gases pointed out that BISU stipulates in the COS that an instructor shall teach the subject matter as reflected on the class schedule, evaluate student learning thru quizzes, projects and periodic exams,
The instructor is also required to submit grades for the mid-term and final terms, monitor the performance and attendance of students and to submit clearances from any property and money accountabilities of the university, added Gases.
Gases filed a five page complaint-affidavit at the Civil Service Commision (CSC), Bohol Field Office on September 18, 2015 stating that the “hiring of teachers based on a COS is clearly improper and is not in consonance with the CSC Rules on Appointments and other Personnel Actions”.
With these working conditions, Gases pointed out, students of BISU-MC in Tagbilaran City including five satellite campuses located in Bilar, Candijay, Clarin, Calape and Balilihan are now at the mercy of qualified teachers with COS agreements who at any given time will leave the university and teach in public secondary schools that give them security of tenure.
GOVERNMENT NOT EXEMPT
In his complaint to the CSC, Gases cited a Supreme Court (SC) decision in GR No. 154472 Â that “employees performing regular government work are considered as government employees and as such has the right to claim/enjoy benefits accorded to them”.
The SC decision further stated that protection of labor extends to the public sector and there is no reason this principle should not apply to workers in government.
Gases quoted CSC Resolution No. 030102 affirms that employer-employee relationship is determined by the nature of the work and not by a stipulation in a contract.
According to Gases, an alarming number of instructors were dismayed by the system of hiring new instructors saying “these instructors, are being taken advantage of as a means to carry out the mandate of the institutions without them being properly compensated”.
CTAS, as shown in the BISU website has 63 teaching staff headed by a Dean, a chairman for Electronics, Electrical, Industrial Technology and Hotel and Restaurant Service Technology Departments.
Overall, 37 non-tenured instructors now account for half of the teaching staff of CTAS with seventeen instructors holding permanent positions and nine issued with casual appointments.
These non tenured instructors now bear the burden of providing the quality of education that meets the university’s goals for student learning and graduation.
BISU has been hiring fresh graduates to fill vacant positions due to the dearth of applicants with Doctorate and Masteral degrees which is a basic requirement for a teaching position in the university, according to Gases.
These non tenured instructors now bear the burden of providing the quality of education that meets the university’s goals for student learning and graduation.Â (Chito M. Visarra)