Labella wants to spare teachers from returning disallowed Cola this year

UNDERPAID.Aside from their teaching duties, Cebu City’s public school teachers also have poll duties to fulfill, like these teachers who served in the 2018 polls. (SunStar file)

SINCE it’s Christmas season, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella does not want the city’s 5,000 public school teachers to pay their disallowance this year so they can receive the full amount of the City’s financial assistance to them.

Raddy Diola, the mayor’s representative in the Local School Board, said the mayor wants all teachers to take home the P10,000 financial assistance without any deduction since they are all “overworked yet they are underpaid.”

The teachers are supposed to settle this month the third installment for their disallowance over the unauthorized disbursement of their cost of living allowance (Cola) in 2015.

The Commission on Audit (COA) had issued in 2017 a notice of disallowance to the City Government and ordered the teachers to return the P18,000 Cola to the City’s coffers.

In the same year, the City Council passed an ordinance granting P10,000 in financial assistance to the teachers every year.

The reimbursement for the Cola would be deducted from the cash assistance at P5,000 a year until the amount is fully paid.

Diola said they are checking if there are legal implications if they suspend the payment for the disallowance.

He added that one of the reasons the mayor wants to suspend the payment is that many of those who were issued a notice of disallowance did not actually receive the Cola. The mayor wants this corrected, Diola said.

“We want them to enjoy their yearly financial assistance, especially those teachers who were asked to reimburse but did not receive the P18,000. They would have plenty of expenses this December, and if we can suspend the payment, at least they have extra money that they can use,” Diola said.

As of this year, the teachers have a balance of P8,000 each. They were supposed to return P5,000 this month and the remaining P3,000 in 2020. (JCT)


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