DSWD MOA Worker Removed By Force

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Department (DSWD) was removed from his work area by force last June 14 as per order by his superior Felino Castro V, OIC of the Information and Communication Technology Management Service (ICTMS) of DSWD. The MOA worker was working as a Computer Maintenance Technologist II handling ICT-related tasks centering on Information Security under the Systems Administration and Integration Division (SAID) of ICTMS.

Castro ordered the immediate removal after learning that the staff called the attention of Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman last June 13 regarding the irregularities happening in ICTMS. The staff requested that the Office of the Secretary conduct an investigation and was then advised by the Secretary to submit a formal complaint letter against Castro so that her office could act on it. However, he was prevented from submitting it the following day due to the sudden removal.

On June 14, the staff was ordered to sign and receive a letter of non-renewal, dated June 13 and signed by one of the Assistant Secretaries of DSWD, informing the end of his MOA contract effective May 30  (two weeks ago from that day). The staff was also prevented from going near the Office of the Secretary to complain, and was hurriedly ordered to surrender his ID at the Personnel Office, and escorted outside of the DSWD central office compound by a guard and another ICTMS staff.

The said staff just resorted to sending his complaint via email when he got home. He was prevented from reporting to work the following days, and was only allowed to communicate via mobile phone SMS and e-mail to transact business with DSWD.

Two weeks after Secretary Soliman acknowledged successfully receiving the staff’s complaint via e-mail, the staff received another e-mail  from Maria Angela “Lala” Gopalan, Director of the Personnel department of DSWD,  informing him in advance of the decision of Secretary Soliman to extend the staff’s contract, based on the recommendations of Castro, only up to the 30th of June. However, the staff was advised just to stay home and wait for the necessary documents required in the processing of his salary claims. These documents were conveniently sent via courier service to the staff’s home instead and were to be sent back to DSWD after completion. The Secretary also informed him in the letter that there is an ongoing investigation being conducted regarding his complaint against Castro.

The staff’s personal belongings, that were left behind due to the forced removal, were also reported missing. Apparently,  his colleagues at ICTMS were ordered to immediately pack his personal belongings without the staff’s presence and permission. However, when the staff was asked to inspect them, it was found to be incomplete. As of today, nobody was made accountable for the missing items.

Before all of these happened, a memo was released by the Office of the Secretary in coordination with the 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Project, informing that there would be a re-evaluation of all MOA workers. Whoever would not be renewed in their position after the re-evaluation conducted by the recruitment committee, DSWD would still give a one-month transition period to reassign the staff to other available positions in the department. The staff was expecting a transition to a different unit if ever he was not renewed. But after the incident with his superior, it seems the objective now was to permanently let the staff go. It was later in time that the staff learned that he passed the re-evaluation and was even  recommended for a higher position. Castro was the only one who disagreed with the committee recommendation.

Until today, DSWD management has not provided any updates of the supposed ongoing investigation being conducted towards the reported irregularities against Castro.

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