CHRISTMAS for some 5,000 school teachers in Cebu City’s public schools won’t be merry this year. The Commission on Audit (COA) ordered the disallowance of their cost of living allowance (Cola) amounting to P78.9 million and the P1.4 million hardship allowance that the city government gave in 2015.
The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), particularly Section 19, was used by the city government as basis in giving the Cola and hardship allowance to Cebu City’s public school teachers.
However, COA insists that RA 4670 is no longer applicable because the other additional compensation for teachers is deemed included in the standardized salary rates under Section 12 of RA 6758, otherwise known as the Act Prescribing a Revised Compensation and Position Classification.
But my humble understanding of Section 12 of RA 4670 that COA cited in ordering the disallowance is that it falls under the exception. It states: “except for representation and transportation allowances; clothing and laundry allowances; subsistence allowance of marine officers and crew on board government vessels and hospital personnel; hazard pay.”
COA officials and I may differ in our views or interpretation of Section 12. But what is most disconcerting is that this law (RA 4670) was passed and approved on Aug. 21, 1989 but COA didn’t advise the local government units to stop giving allowances to other government officials or employees.
What COA disallowed was the Cola and hardship allowance that Cebu City gave to its public schools teachers in 2015. What about the previous years? It smells fishy, isn’t it? Poor former mayor Mike Rama! His malady seems never ending. Is politics behind this?
The management of the New Galleria de Mandaue, a cockpit in Tabok, Mandaue City has been directed to explain by Mandaue City, through its City Legal Officer, Atty. Omar K. Redula, why the city should provide the permit for its daily derby from Dec 21-29, 2017 until Jan. 4-18, 2018.
City Legal Officer Redula acted on the letter complaint of Romeo Castañeda, a resident of Brgy. Tipolo, Mandaue City, who questioned the “Sinulog Challenge Promotion” of Galleria on Dec 21-29, 2017 until Jan. 4-18, 2018.
The complainant claims that Galleria’s daily cockfighting violates Mandaue City Ordinance Nos. 98/029; 09-2002-096; 11-2007-14 and 11-2010-544. In substance, City Ordinance No. 98/029 only allows cockfighting during Sundays and holidays and only three days during the Mandaue City fiesta week.
City Ordinance No. 11-2010-544 repeals City Ordinance No. 11-2007-414 that prohibits cockfighting during barangay fiestas in Mandaue City. City Ordinance No. 11-2010-544 only allows one day cockfight during barangay fiestas.
In sum, the complainant alleged that there is nothing in these three city ordinances that allows daily cockfights in Mandaue City. If allowed to hold cockfights in those dates, the complainant may seek the court’s intervention.