Mayor gets daughter as consultant

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


THE Talisay City Council has approved the endorsement of Mayor Johnny de los Reyes of his daughter as city consultant despite allegations of nepotism.

During yesterday’s regular session, the Talisay City Council approved the consultancy contract of Johnson Joy De los Reyes- Pagusan after the City Legal Office found no legal impediments in the move.

Pagusan is being endorsed as consultant/pharmacist for the city’s newly established Indigent Pharmacy.

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De los Reyes welcomed the City Council’s decision.

Despite initial apprehensions on approving the consultancy, the City Council approved Pagusan’s consultancy contract after City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay found no legal obstacle to hire her.

In a two-page legal opinion submitted to the City Council, Sipalay said consultants are among those exempted from the rules on nepotism.

He cited the Civil Service Commission (CSC)’s Omnibus Rules on Appointment and Other Personnel Actions in his decision on Pagusan’s case.

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Based on the law, the nepotism rule covers all kinds of appointments whether original, promotional, transfer and re-employment regardless of status including casuals and contractual workers, except consultants.

Sipalay said it is a common practice of Supreme Court (SC) and Court of Appeals Justices to hire their close relatives as confidential-capacity employees and as consultants.

Even former officials such as former Rep. Pablo Garcia (Cebu, second district) hired his daughter (and former governor) Gwendolyn and son Nelson as consultants during his time as governor from 1995 to 2004.

Others exempted from rules on nepotism are persons employed in confidential capacity, teachers, physicians and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Talisay City Councilor Edward Alesna, the proponent of the resolution, said Sipalay’s opinion was the basis for their approval of Pagusan’s contract.

In a separate interview, De los Reyes said he was glad the City Council approved his daughter’s appointment.

De los Reyes said they needed a registered pharmacist for the job because they might be questioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if they will hire a non-registered pharmacist for the position.

He assures the public his daughter’s stint as consultant is temporary and that they are in the process of hiring a permanent pharmacist.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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