After losing in the University’s bidding process in February, Almer Manpower Corporation and its approximately 189 employees will leave DLSU-D on April 8 as another housekeeping agency will take its place.
The agencies Citybest Janitorial & General Services and Joseph Server & Associates (JSA) will replace the Almer Manpower Corporation in the housekeeping and maintenance of the school grounds, respectively.
According to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance Belinda Narvaez, “Linawin natin, Almer [Manpower Corporation] is an agency we contracted to provide housekeeping services and they have a contract with duration. They (Almer Manpower Corporation) were chosen for their competitive bidding for the past few years, but unfortunately, nagkaroon ng mas magandang offer from other agency. So, dumaan naman ‘to sa bidding process.”
Narvaez, the chair of the bidding committee, added that they included the Almer Manpower Corporation in the said bidding together with the bidding committee, which includes the heads of the purchasing, accounting, treasury, and housekeeping offices.
Housekeeping Head Marlon Pareja said that the Almer Manpower Corporation have known about their impending exit from the University since February.
“Pero January pa lang, nagkaroon na ng preliminary deliberation tapos nagkaroon ng bidding and then we informed them (Almer Manpower Corporation) kung sino nanalo,” he said.
In defense of the criticism received by the University in this matter, Pareja and Narvaez said that the University holds no responsibility to inform the employees of the said agency as they do not hold an “employee-employer relationship” between them.
“Hindi natin karapatan na i-inform ang Almer [Manpower Corporation] personnel since kausap natin doon ay ang agency… Ang responsibility ng agency ay nasa kanila (Almer Manpower Corporation). As far as the agency is concerned, required sila ng law na i-transfer ‘yong employees sa ibang kleyente,” Pareja said.
With regard to the expiration of the contract’s extension, Narvaez confirmed that the administration notified the agency 30 days prior to the said expiration and even extended it for more than a month.
On the other hand, Annabelle Mercado, the supervisor of Almer Manpower Corporation for almost 13 years, said that she and the employees do not exactly know the specific points given during the bidding process that caused their replacement.
“Wala naman po kaming magagawa [sa desisyon] kasi advice ng admin na nag-participate sa bidding, ‘Ito ang lumabas na result, hindi kayo nanalo,’” Mercado said.
In terms of the contract, Mercado furthered that their last contract with the University was in 2013.
“Ito na ang last contract (2013 contract), then puro extension na. Nag-extend kami ng 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Itong huling stay namin, hopeful pa kami na ma-e-extend kami kahit mga one month pa sana,” Mercado explained.
According to Mercado, the Almer employees were given just seven days of extension before they must leave the University.
“Kaya ito, nagmamadali kaming mag-impake at magligpit, kasi ang last extension namin ay March 31. So previously, nag-follow up kami at wala pa raw result. March 30, pumunta ‘yong head ng General Services sa office namin sa Makati at sinabing hindi kami nanalo. At i-eextend lang ang pag-stay namin dito (DLSU-D) hanggang April 8 para sa clearance at turnover,” Mercado added.
Despite being with Almer Manpower Corporation employees for more than 18 years, Pareja said that the administration must still prioritize the University’s interest first before anything else.
“Of course, siguro feeling natin (Lasallian community) ay nawalan sila ng trabaho. Pero still, may responsibility ang agency na bigyan sila ng trabaho. Sa desisyon na ‘yon (change of housekeeping agency) siyempre wala namang masaya, at marami na ring personal attachments. But ganoon talaga, we have certain processes to undergo na kailangan din talagang sundin,” Pareja said.
*UPDATE: According to Bunag, he was not the admin to visit the Almer Manpower Corp. headquarters in Makati City as stated by Mercado. “It was not the General Services Office that went to Makati to inform them,” Bunag elaborated.