Civil Defense volunteers to become full-timers
The Parliament enacted on April 9 a law to turn Civil Defense volunteers into full-time employees.
Parliament Member Ahmad Fatfat said: “The implementation of this law will be funded by taxes on shelters.” A 1970s law obliged developers to build a shelter in every building to protect inhabitants from Israeli attacks. Later on, developers who chose not to build shelters, were obliged to pay a progressive tax instead.
Civil Defense contract workers and volunteers total around 3,000 according to MPs. Fatfat said that the number is not totally accurate: “A study will be made to determine the exact number of benefiters,” he said. Fatfat did not know what would be the actual cost: “We are waiting for the Civil Defense administration to define its actual needs.”
MP Ibrahim Kanaan did not know either the actual annual cost. He said: “We are waiting for the Ministry of Finance to make the appropriate calculations in order to know the overall cost.”
Members who have a volunteering card for over three years will benefit from this law, according to Fatfat. Volunteers will undertake limited examinations at the Civil Service Council.
Based on average cost of public employees, this law would add an additional estimated expenditure of over $70 million per year.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh