Press Release
February 6, 2009


PIMENTEL CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON LAYOFF OF STATE WORKERS Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called on the Arroyo government to suspend the termination of state workers who are affected by the rationalization of various state agencies so as not to aggravate the already alarming unemployment situation caused by the global economic crisis.

Pimentel said the affected civil servants should be told to stay put unless they voluntarily opt for separation or retirement.

He noted that even Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, has advised Malacañang to put on hold the implementation of the rationalization scheme to save thousands of state workers from being laid off and to quell the growing restiveness in their ranks.

"I think we should support of NEDA director general Recto to suspend the mass layoff of supposedly excess employees or those occupying redundant positions," the minority leader said.

"In other words, the status quo should prevail in the meantime in the light of the emergency while we are looking for long-term solutions."

Pimentel appealed to employers in the private sector to likewise to maintain the status quo by refraining from issuing walking papers to their employees. However, he said the workers must reciprocate by not seeking pay increases and not staging strikes and other forms of work disruptions.

He said government authorities concerned should try to accommodate the excess employees in other state agencies where there are vacancies specially those that will implement new programs in the health, infrastructure, education, training and environment sectors supported by the Economic Stimulus Fund allocated by Congress under the 2009 national budget.

"It would be unwise for the government to fire its own employees and who will swell the ranks of unemployed at a time when it is seeking ways to create job opportunities for workers who have been displaced by the global economic crisis, and new college graduates who will join the labor force," Pimentel said.

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