No insurance yet for Capitol JOs

THE wish of more than 1,000 Capitol job-order (JO) employees to get insured remains bleak, as no budget has been included for them next year.

The Provincial Administrator’s Office, in its 2017 budget proposal, allocated P1.168 million for group personal accident insurance premiums and P7 million for hospitalization insurance premiums of regular and casual employees.

During the budget hearing yesterday, Bonifer Nacorda, Provincial Human Resource Department head, said that the Capitol has 1,430 JOs and 183 professionals hired on contract of service basis.

Nacorda, whose office is under the Provincial Administrator’s Office, said the JOs may eventually get insurance benefits next year, which can be included in a supplemental budget.

The 2017 proposed budget was way below this year’s allocation, with P2.3 million for accident insurance premium and P7 million for hospitalization premium of Capitol employees.

Nacorda said that the budget for the insurance of JOs was not included in the proposal, but his office can request for a supplemental budget for it if there is a need.

Nacorda said that his office and the Provincial Administrator’s Office are studying the possibility of providing personal accident insurance for JOs through the Government Sercive Insurance System (GSIS).

Feedback

“We have an initial inquiry and talk about enrolling job-order personnel,” Nacorda told reporters. He said that the plan got positive feedback from the GSIS.

Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Taskforce head Lyndon Ruiz, who attended the budget hearing, said he was happy with the Capitol’s plan to include him and his men in the insurance benefits.

He said that the task force is working 24 hours a day and seven days a week, including an average of two to three sea-borne patrol a week.

Ruiz, one of the Capitol JOs, said that there are three JOs and one casual employee under him.

Last May, Gov. Hilario Davide III received a letter from a JO worker complaining about the unprotected status of JOs, especially when they are tasked to travel to island towns.

According to the letter, JOs are reportedly made to sign a “waiver and release” before they travel, relieving the Province from any liability during untoward accidents.

“Any medical expenses, property loss or other personal expenditures that may result during or from these travels/trips are to be borne by me,” read a provision of the “waiver and release”.

Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino earlier said that his office planned to change the title of the waiver into a statement of consent.

He said that the Civil Service Commission does not allow JO workers to travel so they made them sign a waiver.

Tolentino had said that his office was in the pre-procurement stage where terms of reference of an insurance were discussed with interested parties.

The proposed medical health insurance coverage may include dependents of employees.

He said that the Capitol plans to come up with a negotiated premium better than the prevailing insurance coverage.

He assured then that JO workers will be asked to join.
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