BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia on Thursday clarified that the P8- million budget for the Bacolod City Government Employees Union (BCGEU) activity was not intended only for the Christmas party of the union.
“(It was) not a Christmas party at all, (it was) a year-end assessment and we’ve been doing this year-in and year-out,” he said.
Leonardia issued the statement following criticisms on the huge amount allotted for the three-day activity that included the union’s Christmas party held on December 27 to 29.
The mayor said that in previous years, the BCGEU has spent about P5 million for a one-day event only.
“P8 million for three-days is even cheaper than P5 million for one day, and one thing for sure is, that it went to the benefits of the employees,” he said.
Allyn Luv Zamora-Dignadice, BCGEU president, had earlier said the City Government allocated P8 million for the BCGEU’s three-day event that covered not only the regular employees, but also the casual plantilla, and job order workers.
On January 6, the Task Force Kasanag led by its national commander John Chiong sent a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte asking to investigate the alleged controversial and anomalous P8-million financial assistance to the BCGEU.
Leonardia said they are ready to answer the complaint if ever it will be entertained.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, chairperson of committee on laws, said that in 2014, former mayor Monico Puentevella allotted P5.6 million for one-day actvitiy of BCGEU for the job order casuals.
He said they supported the program because it is for the benefits of the employees.
“We are in support of our job order casuals like traffic enforcers, street cleaners, Public Order Safety Office guards, market cleaners, day care teachers, among others to receive these once a year perks because they do not have 13th month, 14th month, cash gift, Productivity Enhancement Incentive bonus, signing bonus and other benefits that were availed by the regular employees,” he added.