(File photo)

MANILA – Senator Robinhood Padilla has filed a measure that will make it possible for casual or contractual state employees to attain regular status even without civil service eligibility provided that they have worked for at least five years in the government.

The neophyte senator said it is about time that employees appointed under casual or contractual status be given a chance to be regularized under Senate Bill 234, or an act granting civil service eligibility under certain conditions.

A similar bill was previously filed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, though he only required three years of service.

If approved, Padilla's bill will join other special laws, regulations, and orders authorizing the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to grant eligibility to qualified individuals, including Bar/Board, Barangay Health Worker, Barangay Nutrition, Scholar, Barangay Official, Electronic Data Processing Specialist, Foreign School Honor Graduate, Honor Graduate, Sanggunian Member, Scientific and Technological Specialist, Skills Category II, and Veteran Preference Rating Eligibilities.

"It is high time that we grant eligibility to our committed casual or contractual employees of the government in order to open opportunities for higher salaried positions, boost their morale and keep them motivated, and enhance their productivity for the benefit of the public," Padilla explained.

Covered by the bill are casual or contractual employees occupying first level career civil service positions in the clerical, trades, and custodial services, involving non-professional or sub-professional work in a non-supervisory or supervisory capacity.

Government employees who will qualify should meet the conditions, including a certificate of no pending administrative case; and should not have been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving "moral turpitude, disgraceful or immoral conduct, dishonesty, examination irregularity, drunkenness or addiction to drugs."

They should also not have been dishonorably discharged from the military service or dismissed for cause from any civilian position in the government.

The latest CSC data showed there are about 157,000 non-career or non-CSC eligible employees in the government; about 450,000 are under job order, and about 132,000 employees are in contract service.

Under the law, an employee cannot be appointed to a regular position without CSC eligibility even if the education, experience, and training requirements are met. (PNA)