I REALLY felt very sorry about the predicament of our employees in not receiving their Christmas bonus up to this time. This is the first time I can remember that Capitol employees did not receive any Christmas bonus during the month of December. Last year (2008) employees were given P20,000 bonus before the Christmas holidays and it was a merry yuletide season for all of them including their families. The year 2009 was a bleak Christmas and the coming of 2010 was classified as an ordinary year and not a happy new year.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan anticipating the celebration of these twin events took upon themselves to enact Ordinance No. 378 on December 22, 2009 granting P20,000 bonuses to our employees. This ordinance should have been enacted earlier if only we were informed earlier of the plan of the Executive.

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While the Governor was amenable in giving P10,000 as Christmas bonus, the other P10,000 should be treated as performance bonus. However, how are we going to recognize employees deserving to get the performance bonus if we don’t have any criteria to speak of? What is the basis? Who will evaluate them? What is the period covered in assessing the performance of these employees? What is the qualifying mark for an employee to be entitled to a performance bonus? Is it fair to state and enforce criteria at the end of the year? According to the Governor, employees who are not wearing uniforms, those who do not attend flag ceremonies, and those who don’t use biometrics in reporting for work are not entitled to any performance bonus. If the above criteria are part of the qualifying standards, was these communicated to the employees at the start of 2009?

If these criteria will be a part of the performance parameters, objective evaluation appraisal cannot be made by any supervisor, manager or department head since nobody maintains an employee’s record monitoring number of tardiness, absences, non-wearing of uniforms and other infraction of rules and regulations.

In an exclusive interview with the Governor and published on the first page of Sun Star published on December 28, 2009, the Governor made a deal with the union that the necessary performance evaluation guidelines would be submitted by them this year, that is why the P20,000.00 was given in 2008.

I totally disagree with the arrangement, since performance evaluation cannot be compromised with the employees union. It is the duty of the Executive thru the Human Resources Department to set specific criteria for entitlement of a performance bonus and officially announce to the employees the mechanics of the project at the start of the year and not at the end of the covered evaluation period.

As Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Human Resource Committee of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, I have been suggesting to the Human Resource Department to maintain a counseling record card of every Capitol employee, if we are to objectively evaluate the work performance and attitude of Capitol employees. This counseling record card should be used by every manager and department head in recording positive and negative performances of every employee under their supervision throughout the year.

Without a record of performance of the employee within the year, performance rating will be subjective and will only be based on recent performance whether negative or positive during the last few months being reviewed. Without any counseling record card, a rating official should have a very retentive memory to enable him to recall what transpired within the year, or else evaluation will be subjective and not objective as envisioned.

If performance bonus will be a part of the executive program for 2010, this will be treated as a special project and definite rules should be set. In addition, separate funding should be appropriated for such purpose.

Meanwhile, I would highly recommend that the Governor, in the spirit of Christmas, grant the P20, 000.00 bonuses to all employees as envisioned by Ordinance 378.

It is also being prayed by this representation that job order employees who are also a part of our working team and who sometimes render more efforts in performing their duties than our casuals or regular employees be also granted an minimal Christmas bonus to be given by the Executive since they are also Christians and are not exempted in celebrating Christmas with their families.

There is a saying that “It is better late, than never” and granting the P20,000 Christmas bonus will still be appreciated by our employees in paying their debts incurred during the Yuletide the season.

Board Member Tars DC Halili

Chairman, Human Resource Committee

Sangguniang Panlalawigan-Pampanga