PPA wins FOI award, fills 42% of its vacant positions in 2019

02 JANUARY 2020, MANILA—After a runner-up finish in 2018, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has been officially recognized as the ‘FOI Champion’ by the Presidential Communications Operations Office in the 2019 Freedom of Information (FOI) awards for Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).

PPA received the award on 12 December 2019.

The Authority bested other GOCCs led by two-time FOI Champion for GOCCs winner National Housing Authority and the Authority of the Freeport of Bataan.

“This is a testament that the Authority is really keen on making the PPA accessible to the very public that it serves,” PPA general manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago stressed.

“The PPA’s interactive and centralized FOI portal gives the public uninterrupted access to the agency, thus enhancing the Authority’s integrity, transparency and accountability,” Santiago said.

“This year, we are planning to put-up easy-access kiosks in our entire operational areas as the Authority is committed to integrate the public to its day-to-day operations,” Santiago added.

Meanwhile, as part of the agency’s initiative to improve the employment rate in the country, the PPA has filled-up at least 600 of its vacant plantilla positions. This represents approximately 42% of its 1,404 open positions at the start of 2019.

The newly-hired personnel likewise increased the total number of employees working in the state-owned agency to 2,347 and significantly reduced the number of outsourced personnel.

PPA has a total of 3,151 plantilla positions. The Authority is targeting to fill-up all vacant positions in the next two years.

“We are really accelerating the hiring of new personnel particularly in the Port Management Offices (PMOs) as they are really undermanned,” Santiago explained.

“With the additional 600 newly-hired personnel, we were able to double the existing workforce of PMOs to be deployed in some unmanned ports,” Santiago added.

“Hopefully, in the next two years, we will complete the filling-up of all the vacant positions in the Authority and help reduce the unemployment rate in the country,” Santiago said.

Aside from these, the PPA is also continuously empowering all its outsourced personnel to compete with other qualified applicants in all its entry-level and technical positions.

The initiative is in line with the Joint Memorandum Order among three (3) government agencies namely: Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), requiring all government agencies to restrict the need for the hiring of outsourced personnel in the next two years.

The Human Resource Management Department is exerting all efforts in assisting all outsourced personnel in attaining the necessary Civil Service Eligibility.

Online review materials and sample exams for Civil Service examinations are provided for specific subject matters which were identified earlier as ‘weak points’ of personnel in the CS Eligibility exams.

Outsourced personnel are not directly employed by the Authority but have been a part of the PPA family on the performance of its function and PPA recognizes its part in helping them improve their skills and capacities.