AN OPPOSITION councilor cautioned the Cebu City Council on the release of the P20,000 bonus for all City Hall employees when some barangay workers have not received their salaries yet.
Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. raised before the Council the situation of some barangays whose workers have yet to get their salaries, which are partly funded by the City Government through financial assistance.
“We should be sensitive because there are still some barangay workers who have not received their salaries yet,” said Gabuya.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, chairman of the Council’s committee on budget and finance, said they have yet to identify these barangays.
The salaries and incentives for Cebu City Hall employees and operating expenses that were not spent in 2019 will fund the P118 million Supplemental Budget No. 3, which is intended solely for the incentives and Christmas bonus of City Hall employees.
All regular, casual and job order workers who rendered at least four months of service will receive the bonus.
During the regular session on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said it is only right to grant cash incentives to the City Hall employees for their “hard work and service rendered to the City.”
In a letter to the Council, Human Resource Development Office (HRDO) officer-in-charge Daisy Dianna Ortiz enumerated the awards and recognition that the different offices in City Hall received, which they cited as the basis for the granting of the bonus.
Ortiz also cited the resolution of the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) committee, which said that recognizing the awards and achievements of the various offices can encourage “productivity in public service.”
As recognition of the employees’ hard work, Mayor Edgardo Labella decided to give P20,000 to all casual and regular employees and P2,000 to all job order workers.
Cebu City Hall has 5,000 regular and casual employees and job order workers.
The third supplemental budget is scheduled for approval during the regular session on Dec. 11.
In an interview, Garcia explained it is the mayor’s discretion how the City would use its savings.
For 2019, the City saved P118,816,667 from the unspent personal services and incentives of personnel of different City Hall offices, including the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor, which has savings of P2 million, and the Cebu City Medical Center and Guba Hospital, whose savings amount to P12 million.
Other sources of funds are the savings of the city markets (P2 million), Department of Public Services (P816,000), Cebu City Resource Management and Development Center (P460,000) and various offices under the Office of the City Administrator, which have a collected savings of P100 million.
According to Garcia, one of the reasons for the savings is the change in thrust and priorities when the new administration took over in the middle of the year.
“Maybe Mayor (Tomas) Osmeña has allocated a large budget for some offices and programs that did not align with the vision of Mayor Labella,” the councilor said.
During the session on Dec. 4, the Council considered including casual employees in the previous administration whose contracts were not renewed since they had worked in City Hall for six months this year.