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Mayor Rama (Cebu City) threatens to fire 3,000 more City Hall workers


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Cebu City has a population of about one million.  My guess is that 50 percent, at most, of the population are working age adults.  That means about 1 in 50 people of working age are working for city.  :shock_40_anim_gif:  So not surprising that there are more "city workers" than their are "city jobs".  But firing workers for not doing any work is kind of contrary to the customs here.  Expect a lot of push back from the citizens. 

https://ph.yahoo.com/news/mayor-rama-threatens-fire-3-122600562.html

AFTER not renewing the contracts of 500 City Hall casual and job order employees in July 2022, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has threatened to fire 3,000 more employees if they will not perform their duties.

During the flag-raising ceremony at the Plaza Sugbo Monday, July 4, 2022, Rama again warned that employees should do their tasks or face termination.

“I want to announce today that if nothing improves and no program (is) being instituted, expect 3,000 employees to lose their jobs. I am serious about it,” said Rama.

Rama said there will be an evaluation after six months to determine the performance of the employees.

Currently, City Hall has 10,000 employees on its payroll, and 5,000 of them are job order workers, 3,600 are casual employees, and 1,500 are regular employees.

Rama also directed all heads of the various City Hall departments to monitor the operations in their respective offices.

“I am directing all heads, give them (employees) your cooperation, bring them where they should be. I do not wish to hear that they are not being given an assignment,” said Rama.

Rama further said that he will remove department heads who will not perform their jobs.

On July 1, Rama made good on his threats to get rid of 500 workers after he did not approve the renewal of the contracts of 500 employees who failed to pass the local government’s evaluation.

The mayor’s warning to employees started when he issued a memorandum last May 16 informing them that contracts of all coterminous, casual and job order employees would expire on June 30.

The employees must undergo an evaluation to determine if they would still be included in the city’s payroll on July 1.

Under the memo, the employees were evaluated based on the following: “kawatan (thief), tapulan (lazy), hugawan (messy), intregero (intriguer), pala-away (quarrelsome), walay nahibaw-an (ignorant), dili mo bayad og utang (does not pay debts), and mo buko-buko (backstabber).”

 

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9 minutes ago, Mike J said:

Rama said there will be an evaluation after six months to determine the performance of the employees.

 

9 minutes ago, Mike J said:

Rama further said that he will remove department heads who will not perform their jobs.

The whole story is a very sad commentary on how things probably work at many levels of government here.  No accountability at all.

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As Don said, no accountability.  Introduction of KPI's and achievable quarterly targets with regards to customer service and satisfaction will go along way towards sorting the wheat from the chaff.  Not wholesale sackings.  Employees have to be given a chance to improve first.  

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Slowly we are seeing improvements which is a good thing, a long way to go but hopefully the culture is changing. 

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3 hours ago, BrettGC said:

As Don said, no accountability.  Introduction of KPI's and achievable quarterly targets with regards to customer service and satisfaction will go along way towards sorting the wheat from the chaff.  Not wholesale sackings.  Employees have to be given a chance to improve first.  

 

1 hour ago, Snowy79 said:

Slowly we are seeing improvements which is a good thing, a long way to go but hopefully the culture is changing. 

It is so hard to change when the "normal" Filipino is used to things being done a certain way.  I would bet that supervisors and managers know exactly who is not working, but as long as the worker takes care of the boss, no issues.  Lunch, snacks, a bottle once in a while, etc.  I worked with a lot of Filipinos at LAX in the 80's, and witnessed it first hand.

If interested, here is a good read on favoritism.  It is not about the Philippines, but everything mentioned is widespread and accepted in PH.

https://www.scu.edu/government-ethics/resources/what-is-government-ethics/favoritism-cronyism-and-nepotism/

What are favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism?

As favoritism is the broadest of these related terms, we'll start with its definition. Basically favoritism is just what it sounds like; it's favoring a person not because he or she is doing the best job but rather because of some extraneous feature-membership in a favored group, personal likes and dislikes, etc. Favoritism can be demonstrated in hiring, honoring, or awarding contracts. A related idea is patronage, giving public service jobs to those who may have helped elect the person who has the power of appointment.

Favoritism has always been a complaint in government service. In 2002, a survey from the federal government's Office of Personnel Management found that only 36.1 percent of federal workers thought promotions in their work units were based on merit. (Government Executive Magazine, "Playing Favorites," by Brian Friel, October 2004). They believed that connections, partisanship, and other factors played a role.

Cronyism is a more specific form of favoritism, referring to partiality towards friends and associates. As the old saying goes, "It's not what you know but who you know," or, as blogger Danny Ferguson put it, "It's not what you don't know; it's who your college roommate knows." Cronyism occurs within a network of insiders-the "good ol' boys," who confer favors on one another.

Nepotism is an even narrower form of favoritism. Coming from the Italian word for nephew, it covers favoritism to members of the family. Both nepotism and cronyism are often at work when political parties recruit candidates for public office.

What do favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism have to do with ethics?

One of the most basic themes in ethics is fairness, stated this way by Artistotle: "Equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally." Favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism all interfere with fairness because they give undue advantage to someone who does not necessarily merit this treatment.

In the public sphere, favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism also undermine the common good. When someone is granted a position because of connections rather than because he or she has the best credentials and experience, the service that person renders to the public may be inferior.

Also, because favoritism is often covert (few elected officials are foolish enough to show open partiality to friends, and family), this practice undercuts the transparency that should be part of governmental hiring and contracting processes.

What ethical dilemmas do favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism present?

Probably the biggest dilemma presented by favoritism is that, under various other names, few people see it as a problem. Connections, networking, family-almost everyone has drawn on these sources of support in job hunting in the private spherre.

And everyone can point to instances where cronyism or nepotism is an accepted fact of life in political sphere, as well. John F. Kennedy, for example, appointed his brother Robert as attorney general. Every president and governor names close associates to key cabinet positions. Mayors put those they know and trust on citizens committees and commissions. Friends and family can usually be counted on for loyalty, and officeholders are in a good position to know their strengths.

So what's the problem?

The first issue is competence. For cabinet level positions, an executive will probably be drawn to experienced, qualified candidates, but historically, the lower down the ladder, the more likely for someone's brother-in-law to be slipped into a job for which he is not qualified. The American Civil Service Act was passed in 1883 in large part because so many patronage jobs, down to dogcatcher, were being filled by people whose only qualification for employment was their support for a particular party or candidate. Also, the appearance of favoritism weakens morale in government service, not to mention public faith in the integrity of government.

Reasonable people will differ about the appointment of friends and family in high-level positions, but public officials should be aware that such choices can give the appearance of unfairness. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 state legislatures have found the practice of nepotism troubling enough to enact laws against it. Others may restrict the hiring of relatives or friends in more general conflict-of-interest rules.

Public officials should also note that dilemmas involving favoritism extend beyond hiring and contracting practices to the more general problem of influence. Golfing partners, people who come over for Sunday dinner, members of the same congregation all are likely to exert a greater influence over an official than a stranger might. Council members, mayors, and legislators must make special efforts to ensure that they hear all sides of an issue rather than just relying on the views of the people they know. Further, many conscientious lawmakers have discovered that they must change their patterns of socializing when their work involves many decisions affecting friends and associates. At the least, they may choose to recuse themselves from votes where social relationships may exert undue influence.

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I hate to say it but this is a policy that could lead to a visit by a tandem motorbike :Policeman::571b119686cf7_1(72):barely a day goes buy with out a story appearing in the paper about a local exec getting rubbed out

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10 hours ago, BrettGC said:

As Don said, no accountability.  Introduction of KPI's and achievable quarterly targets with regards to customer service and satisfaction will go along way towards sorting the wheat from the chaff.  Not wholesale sackings.  Employees have to be given a chance to improve first.  

I'd love to say you're right, Brett.  Of course you are in a sense but the working culture has to be a top-down approach if it's going to change.  This is partly/mostly due to the respect for authority people have here - they simply cannot and will not go against their superiors. 

The KPI and customer service things reminds me of when I visited Beijing 20-odd years ago.  At immigration there were 2 buttons just in front of the desk - one smiling face and one frowning.  Passengers were "required" to push one or the other before proceeding to the official.  So, we had to give feedback on a service not yet provided and I'd bet dollars to donuts that the satisfaction rate was 100%! 

350 years of colonisation and everything that brings won't be wiped out anytime soon.  It just needs to be chipped away one chunk at a time, a bit like eating an elephant which can only be done one bite at a time.  

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The political patronage system in the Philippines is you can't fire employees from a previous administration, but you need to provide jobs for the people who helped get you elected.  You end up with a bloated workforce that is double or triple in size.  Rather than in-fighting between political rivals, employees from the previous administration stay home and show up only to collect their salary.  

The US and Great Britain solution is a professional civil service, supposedly apolitical, who run the bureaucracy.  They can stay as career professionals.  The political appointees are required to tender their resignation allowing the next administration to determine who to keep and who to let go (most of them).  You do end up with funny situations such as becoming Ambassador for appointees who have never heard of the country or have never been outside of the country.  The appointment was in exchange for a substantial donation.  The non-career Ambassadors are now required to undergo training to avoid potential embarrassments.  

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49 minutes ago, hk blues said:

I'd love to say you're right, Brett.  Of course you are in a sense but the working culture has to be a top-down approach if it's going to change.  This is partly/mostly due to the respect for authority people have here - they simply cannot and will not go against their superiors. 

The KPI and customer service things reminds me of when I visited Beijing 20-odd years ago.  At immigration there were 2 buttons just in front of the desk - one smiling face and one frowning.  Passengers were "required" to push one or the other before proceeding to the official.  So, we had to give feedback on a service not yet provided and I'd bet dollars to donuts that the satisfaction rate was 100%! 

350 years of colonisation and everything that brings won't be wiped out anytime soon.  It just needs to be chipped away one chunk at a time, a bit like eating an elephant which can only be done one bite at a time.  

 

47 minutes ago, JJReyes said:

The political patronage system in the Philippines is you can't fire employees from a previous administration, but you need to provide jobs for the people who helped get you elected.  You end up with a bloated workforce that is double or triple in size.  Rather than in-fighting between political rivals, employees from the previous administration stay home and show up only to collect their salary.  

The US and Great Britain solution is a professional civil service, supposedly apolitical, who run the bureaucracy.  They can stay as career professionals.  The political appointees are required to tender their resignation allowing the next administration to determine who to keep and who to let go (most of them).  You do end up with funny situations such as becoming Ambassador for appointees who have never heard of the country or have never been outside of the country.  The appointment was in exchange for a substantial donation.  The non-career Ambassadors are now required to undergo training to avoid potential embarrassments.  

Agree with you both 100%, it's a generational thing.  These are the issues that go a long way towards preventing PI being taken off the list of "developing" countries anytime in my lifetime.  

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5 hours ago, BrettGC said:

Agree with you both 100%, it's a generational thing.  These are the issues that go a long way towards preventing PI being taken off the list of "developing" countries anytime in my lifetime.  

It has been a generational thing so long it is in the psyche of the average Filipino. In one of our subdivisions the developer recently adopted some rules such as; land owners must pay the developer 7% of the building cost if the landowner does not use a PICAB licensed contractor. Philippine law allows owners to serve as their own contractor as long as they meet local government requirements for permits. Also, the developer said everyone must pay a "relocation fee" of $30,000 peso prior to building. This fee is supposed to insure the building is within the boundaries of the lot, which are already clearly marked. Then one must post a bond of 40,000 peso for damage should any occur to the road during construction. That is a safe bet for the developer since there is no steel in the road they built.

When I asked our neighbors why they submitted to this extortion they said they were afraid of arguing because the developer is the late vice mayor. When I asked what they are afraid of they just shrugged and said its better to just pay. Fear of authority is very real among the law abiding middle class here but nonexistent among the very poor and the wealthy.

Edited by Greglm
grammatical
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