NCPAG Working Papers

The NCPAG Working Papers are pre-publication versions of research papers by NCPAG faculty, lecturers, researchers, and students. They are
meant to disseminate knowledge and stimulate discussion that will help authors revise the manuscript for future publication.

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In the past three decades, austerity-driven administrative reforms have changed the Philippine public administration in ways that significantly affected, among others, public sector employment. It particularly gave rise to precarious work in government, with non-regular workers being employed under contracts of service (COS), job orders (JO), and third-party agencies. These workers carry out regular, permanent jobs without guaranteed security of tenure and social protection. Little is known about how public policy shaped and perpetuated precarious work. Hence, this paper attempts to address such gap by providing a review of Philippine civil service, procurement, budgeting and taxation laws. The paper reveals that some provisions in these policies normalize precarious work in government, alienate COS, JO, and agency-hired workers from their regular counterparts and commodify their work and services. It argues that proposed policy responses aiming to widen social protection coverage among COS and JO workers through subcontracting may not be able to address the problem of precarious work. The paper offers prospects for change towards attaining decent work and security of tenure in the public sector.