Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas has dispelled rumors of a massive layoffs in the government’s rationalizations program, saying the move intends only to further strengthen government services.

In a radio interview, Sto. Tomas clarified that the rationalization program is part of the government’s efforts to improve its service delivery and efficiency by streamlining agencies through dissolution of redundant offices and posts and realignment of personnel.

She said that all government agencies have been directed to determine how they could strengthen public services without displacing employees. The DOLE, she added, would strengthen frontline services by transferring people from the Central Office in Manila to the regions.

“We will be adding more people in the field,” she said, reiterating that no one in the DOLE will be displaced since those who will be affected by rationalization but do not want to leave government service will be transferred to essential positions especially in the DOLE regional and provincial offices.

Sto. Tomas also said that those who want to retire, on the other hand, may avail of the voluntary separation program which gives bigger benefits than those being provided under the usual retirement program.

“They can use the separation benefits to start a business and consequently earn higher returns than the salaries they get from their previous jobs in government,” she said.

The DOLE chief advised employees in other government agencies who are anxious with the rationalization program to seek clarifications from their agency’s human resource department or from the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Budget and Management.

She noted that under the rationalization program, all government workers have the choice to stay or retire from the service and that “no government worker can be removed from the service without just cause.”

Source: Information and Publication Service

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