CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - The Capitol Employees' Union (CEU) officials and Provincial Board (PB) members tagged Governor Eddie Panlilio as "anti-employee" and "heartless" for blocking the release of the P20,000 Christmas bonus.

The CEU officials led by its president, Remegio Capuchino met with Vice Governor Joseller "Yeng" Guiao and other PB members, after the second day of the budget hearing on Wednesday evening at Max's restaurant in Villa Del Sol of this city.

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"We were waiting for the order of the governor for us to draft the parameters for performance, as he said but no such order came. We strongly believe the bonuses are due us. Karamihan po sa mga empleyado natin ay naibenta o naisangla na ang mga bonus na iyon (Most of the employees have already sold their bonuses). We feel that the governor is anti-employee at walang puso para sa mga empleyado (no feelings for the employees)," Capuchino said.

Capuchino and the union officials sought the assistance of the PB in the release of the bonuses for some 2,100 Provincial Government employees.

They said despite the dialogue with Panlilio on Monday, the "standoff" was demoralizing for the employees.

The CEU officials have also asked Guiao to confront Panlilio after the flag-raising rites Monday, which observers dubbed as a possible "showdown" of the executive and legislative departments, airing and clearing the issue and determining who is really responsible for the unreleased bonuses.

Guiao said the PB assembled with the employees' union to know whether the concerned union would want to continue the "fight" for the whole "one time, big time" bonus or just content themselves with the P10,000 "across-the-board" bonus that Panlilio is insisting.

"Ang consensus po nila ay ipaglaban iyung P20,000 na nararapat para sa kanila at kami ay makikiisa sa kanila. Nakikiusap po kami kay Governor Panlilio na huwag maging 'anti-employee' o ang tingin namin ay napakatigas ng kanyang puso at ipinagdadamot pa ang para sa mga empleyado. Sana naman at ibigay na niya ito (The consensus is to fight the P20,000 that is due them and we are with them. We are asking Governor Panlilio not to be 'anti-employee' or we think he is heartless in not giving what is due to the employees. Hopefully he will release the bonus.)," said Guiao.

After the meeting, Guiao told Sun.Star Pampanga, "I feel very sad about this dahil napakasakit para sa mga empleyado na dumaan ang Pasko at Bagong Taon na hindi sila nakatanggap ng kanilang Christmas bonus, gayung meron namang pondo at available iyung pondong iyun. May karampatan ding ordinansa na nagsasaad na puwede ng ibigay ni Governor Panlilio iyung bonus na iyun, (It is very painful for the employees to celebrate Christmas and New Year without receiving their Christmas bonus, when in fact there is available funds for it. There is also the needed ordinance that allows Governor Panlilio to release it.)"

Guiao added that with the recent developments it appears that the blame was passed on the Provincial Board because what Governor Panlilio wants is to return the ordinance without action.

He further said the executive department should follow the law and veto the ordinance if they are against it or approve it. However the executive department failed to take action and the 15-day period has already lapsed making the ordinance now a law.

Guiao said this makes the more reason for the governor to release the bonus.

Panlilio, for his part, told Sun.Star Pampanga earlier that he was doing everything he can to have the bonuses released.

"Ginagawa po natin ang lahat para ma-release na ang bonuses. Kaya lamang ay dapat tayong tumupad sa ating agreement at pangako na binitawan noong 2008. Ang Productivity Enhancement Incentive po ay talagang para sa mga nagtrabaho lamang ng mabuti at sumunod sa protocol at regulasyon ng Civil Service (We are doing everything to release the bonuses. However, we have to follow our agreement and the promise I made on 2008. The Productivity Enhancement Incentive is for those who really worked well and followed protocols and regulations of the Civil Service)," Panlilio said.

He has reverted Ordinance 378, calling for the release of the P20,000 bonus per employee on claims that only P10,000 should be awarded to the employees and the other half should be based on performance appraisal and evaluation as mandated by civil service regulations.

Panlilio also earlier said it was agreed upon with the Capitol employees, who received an extra cash gift of P20,000 each last December 2008 that only P10,000 bonus will be given to all employees in 2009, while only those who performed well will get the additional P10,000. (Jovi T. De Leon of Sun.Star Pampanga/Sunnex)