Sagarbarria defends giving of rice to JO workers-A A +A
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
DUMAGUETE City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria has defended his administration in the practice of giving rice to job order employees of the local government at Christmas time.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, the mayor lamented why it took the Commission on Audit (COA) only now to call the attention of the chief executive on this matter when it has been a practice by previous administrations for over 20 years now.
Last December 2012, the City Government gave rice to job order employees as under the law they are not qualified to receive certain benefits like cash gift and other benefits allowed for regular and casual plantilla employees.
Job order employees are mostly indigent and live below the poverty line and giving rice to them at Christmas time is a big help to their families, he said.
Sagarbarria said he only adopted the same practice from his predecessors, to include the late city Mayor Agustin Perdices and former mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo.
Perdices served for three terms before Remollo was elected for one term after which the former returned as mayor-elect for another nine years before Sagarbarria became the local chief executive.
The distribution of rice to job order employees last Christmas had gone through the legal processes and was approved by the City Council, Sagarbarria said.
According to Sagarbarria, the papers for the rice distribution to job order workers were in order and were submitted to the COA.
But, he admitted the COA had issued a recommendation for disallowance despite this.
There is nothing illegal about it and the rice is fully accounted up to the last kilo, the mayor added.
The City Government has already sent its reply to the disallowance notice to the regional COA office, the mayor said.
“If ever, we will have to reimburse that but perhaps not the outright return the full amount but we can do that slowly,” Sagarbarria said.
He described the COA’s move as “unfair”, saying the agency should have forewarned his administration that this practice is not allowed.
“It is so unfair when we have been only following this practice of the previous administrations”, the mayor added. (PNA)