The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) moved for the regularization of its regional officers as it approved the proposal to request the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) to upgrade all casual positions in all ECC regional extension units (REUs) into regular plantilla positions.
According to Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, who serves as the chairperson of ECC, the request for regularization of ECC trained personnel in the regions is a showcase of the government’s effort in being a forefront in ensuring security of tenure in the workforce.
“As we continue to push for the legislation that will assure our workers a security of tenure, we take steps in our own premises to protect our workers and promote their welfare by upholding their rights as part of the country’s workforce,” Bello said.
The Employees’ Compensation Commission started the establishment of REUs in 2011 when it deployed six officers — three Information Officers I and three Rehabilitation Officers I — for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to pursue the initiatives towards making ECC’s presence felt in the regions as part of its thrust of making the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) available to all covered workers. Due to the positive result brought about by the establishments of REUs, the ECC created and hired personnel for 21 casual positions in order to complete the two regional staff composition in each region in the Philippines.
The regional officers of ECC welcomed the news with much delight.
Cerna Ahmad-Ayub, who has been the Information Officer II of ECC-REU 9 for seven years, described the approval of the proposal as a “very good news”. “It is a timely opportunity because ECC-REUs are already known across regions. This gives us an additional motivation to continually share the ECP and its benefits to people as we already have the security of tenure. We will continue to work hard in the pursuit of fulfilling ECC’s goals in serving the public excellently and enthusiastically,” she said.
Stella Mae Obice of ECC-REU 10, who has been with ECC for eight years, said the thought of being a regular employee of ECC ignites her senses on striving to become a better public servant. “Public office is a public trust. Therefore, my loyalty is with ECC and this is where my passion and the organization’s goal meet, and that is to serve the public,” she added.
In addition to the regularization of ECC REU officers, two plantilla positions for ECC-REU 4A and one for ECC-REU 7 are also being requested for approval to GCG. No prior casual positions were made for these regions because Region 4A is in close proximity with the ECC Central Office, while a regular plantilla position from the Central Office was deployed to ECC-REU 7.
Along with the continuing enhancement in benefits and expansion of ECP coverage, the ECC is also committed in having a strong, dependable, and humble workforce that would push through its mandates and advocacies to every Filipino working man.
“This is one thing that we could do for our hardworking regional officers who go extra mile in disseminating our advocacy to help reignite hope to our persons with work-related disabilities (PWRDs). This regularization does not only entail security of tenure for them but will also strengthen their identity as ECC officers in the regions,” ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said.
With reports from Kay Daga and Danica Lacson