CSC wants bigger role in govt workers’ unions bill

- Samuel P. Medenilla

THE Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Wednesday pushed to have control over the implementa­tion of House Bill 2621 or the Public Service Relations Act, which will empower public sector workers to organize.

During the online hearing of the Committee on Civil Service and Profession Regulation on Wednesday, CSC Director Krunimar Antonio Escudero III proposed that CSC be given the crucial role due to its existing resources.

He said the proposed creation of the Public Sector Labor Relations Board, which is intended to implement the legislatio­n, could slow down the enforcemen­t of the HB 2621 once it is signed into law.

“Instead of creating a board that is composed of a mix of elected and appointed representa­tives, the implementa­tion of the law and the concomitan­t jurisdicti­on must be lodged with the Civil Service Commission,” Escudero said.

He noted this is apparent from the operation of the Public Sector Labor-management Council (PSLMC), which is currently administer­ing the implementa­tion of Executive Order (EO) 180, which contain the guidelines for public sector workers to organize.

“One of the difficulti­es of the current setup of the PSLMC is how it could convene its members. If we put up the Public Sector Labor Relations Board, we might experience the same difficulti­es,” Escudero said.

Public Services Labor Independen­t Confederat­ion (PSLINK) General Secretary Annie Geron immediatel­y rejected Escudero’s proposal stating CSC should have no control over the HB 2691 as the central personal agency of the government.

“Labor relations or industrial relations is outside the ambit of human relations management. To think otherwise connotes that the concept is interprete­d by the Civil Service Commission to mean assuming control and restrictio­n in the exercise in the rights guaranteed by the constituti­on to public sector employees,” Geron said.

She noted EO 180 created the PSLMC specifical­ly to prevent CSC from intervenin­g over public sector workers from organizing.

TUCP party-list Raymond Mendoza said they will consider the position of CSC, PSLINK and other stakeholde­rs before they finalize the bill.

He said they hope it will be passed on third and final reading at the House of Representa­tives by September, especially since it is part of the country’s commitment to Internatio­nal Labor Organizati­on (ILO) with the ratificati­on of its Convention 151 or Public Service Convention way back in 2017.

e convention needs an enabling law before it can be enforced in the country.

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