Officials moved to address a persisting issue on purported delays in release of salaries in some agencies of the fledgling Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
BARMM Acting Executive Secretary Abdullah Cusain said Thursday affected workers are mostly those holding service or job-order contracts whose renewable tenures granted by the previous administration had expired last June.
Cusain said the BARMM has renewed many of the affected workers’ contracts up to Dec. 31, 2019 when even regular appointments will be terminated, because of the abolition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, concurrent spokesperson for Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, said he received reports that salaries of teachers of Arabic subjects in some public schools were reportedly delayed, as the former signatory of their paychecks has been appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to a higher position.
Cusain said the process of renewal has been slowed down by several factors, including a requirement by the Civil Service Commission that in any event it will only recognize the region’s Chief Minister and other presidential appointees as signatories of regional appointments.
He said one option that can unburden Ebrahim from having to go through thousands of documents for his signature almost daily would be for regional Cabinet appointees to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament.
Cusain said another factor is the graduated retrenchment of employees, following the abolition of the ARMM, which is a natural consequence of the dissolution of government offices.
Some agencies of the defunct ARMM were drawing flak from contractual employees, purportedly over delayed releases of salaries.
Affected employees have written anonymous letters to the media, saying they were waiting for their salaries delayed to a second or third month. Others claimed they were owed up to four months of unpaid salaries.
Meanwhile, the teaching personnel of the BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education are spared from the impending termination of their services as an offshoot of ARMM’s abolition, as a new signatory would have to be designated as soon as possible, Sinarimbo said.
MBHTE is the region’s counterpart of the national Department of Education.
The ARMM as BARMM forerunner is deemed abolished by the passage and subsequent ratification of Republic Act 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, as the charter of the new autonomous entity.
Many of the signatory officials in the ARMM’s tenure were coterminous appointees of its last administration, and some of them have vacated their posts.
Current successors to those mid-level positions in the current transition period have been appointed and have assumed office. Their appointments have yet to be signed individually by the Chief Minister until Cabinet appointments shall have been confirmed by the BTA Parliament’s CA.