SOME Capitol job order (JO) workers are getting insecure about their “unprotected” status when they are ordered to travel out of town since they are not insured.
“Given that we are required to travel as an order and as part of our duties, shouldn’t we be provided the just coverage for safety even for the most humanitarian form of reasons,” quoted from a letter sender who identified himself as Jose Orlando.
The letter was sent to Gov. Hilario Davide III, through Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino.
JO’s who are scheduled to travel are made to sign a waiver stating that Capitol is free of responsibility in case something happens.
“The province does not provide health and accident insurance for trip participants, and I understand that 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” signed by the JO before he or she travels.
As this developed, Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino announced yesterday that they are now in the process of acquiring a medical health insurance to assure Capitol employees of assistance just in case something happens to them while on work travel. He said JO’s will be invited to join.
Waiver and release documents signed by JO’s prior to travel states that “By signing this waiver, I agree to hold the Province of Cebu, its officers heads and employees, assigns, representatives, successors-in-interest, entirely free from any liability including financial responsibility for injuries incurred regardless of whether injuries are caused by negligence or not.”
Capitol has a thousand JO’s and around 100 of them are regularly asked to travel, said Bonifer Nacorda, head of the Provincial Human Resource Department.
Tolentino clarified that the “waiver and release” are for JO’s protection, and not really to free them from responsibilities.
“JO’s are not allowed by the Civil Service (Commission) to travel, so we let them sign a waiver,” Tolentino said.
He said the waiver and release is just to explain to the CSC that the travel is with the traveler’s consent.
If they will not sign the waiver and release document, they will not be allowed to travel, said Tolentino.
He assured that this particular worry will be addressed.
The Provincial Administrator announced yesterday that they are now in the pre-procurement stage where terms and references will be discussed with interested parties. He said the proposed medical health insurance coverage may include dependents of Capitol employees.
Tolentino said the job-order workers will be asked to join and they will come up with a negotiated premium better than prevailing insurance coverages.
He said this may be realized in the third quarter of this year, when the governor’s new term starts.
Asked if the non-signing of waiver be a ground for non-renewal of a JO’s contract after six months, Nacorda said “not necessarily.”
Tolentino said they are planning to change the document’s title from “waiver and release” to “statement of consent.”
He said they already explained to job order workers and they all agree to the need to travel in the exigency of service.
The letter was dated April 18, 2016, but they decided to bring this up with Sun.Star Cebu after the election to avoid being misconstrued as politically motivated.