WHEN the principles and processes in government are based on rational, clearly-understood rules, without the influence of any political or personal relationships, we can say that bureaucracy works well for the people.
But when the policies and processes become questionable or irrational, then bureaucracy becomes a threat to the security of those affected. Max Weber, who wrote the book “Economy and Society” in 1921, said that even though bureaucracy represents the most proficient form of organization, uncontrolled bureaucracy could also threaten individual liberties. Bureaucratic decisions that are expected to be impersonal and unbiased sometimes fail the people in a particular organization.
In the case of the employees of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC), the new bureaucratic policies and processes have threatened their tenure, social security, and mental health due to stress and anxiety brought by these policies.
The CDC is set to implement the new compensation and position classification system (CPCS) that will affect some 685 rank-and-file employees of CDC. Under the new system, the employees will lose their monthly allowances, benefits and incentives (ABIs).
Another policy ready to sail by August is the transfer or shift of insurance coverages from the Social Security System (SSS) to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
The employees are now up in arms against these policies and they have every reason to do so. Leaders of the Association of Concerned CDC Employees (ACCES) and Association of CDC Supervisors and Personnel (ACSP) said that these policies are unfavorable, unjust and disadvantageous.
A big number from the rank-and-file employees are nearing retirement. They have contributed with SSS for more than 20 years. But upon transfer to GSIS, their contributions with SSS will not be automatically reverted to GSIS. They are even required to retropay 15 years of payment to GSIS so they can avail of the retirement benefits.
The employees fear for their insurance security. The policy opened a lot of questions. Their benefits and allowances were ripped from them because of the new CPCS and now, they are required or even forced to be covered under GSIS.
The CDC workers are also underpaid compared to other Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).
The workers are at their lowest morale these days. The bureaucrats who drafted these policies could have been more sensitive and considerate, but no. They don’t see the faces of these employees - who work hard for their families, who try to be decent in these challenging times.
The only recourse for the unions now is to go back in the streets of Clark and voice out their disappointments and grievances against CDC and the government. The unions already filed a complaint against CDC for gross violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board Region III. But the mediation is a long process.