MAYOR Evelio R. Leonardia said that they are seriously considering the option of downgrading the plantilla casuals to Job Order (J.O.) effective July 1, 2010.

He has not yet issue any appointment to both his executive assistants and to all casuals as they are still studying the option.

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Leonardia this will most likely to happen because of two major factors. There will be an increase in the salary of the regular employees under the Salary Standardization Law and the city has a limitation on its budget wherein only 45 percent of the city's income for two years will be the cap or its ceiling on its Personnel Services.

The increase in the salary may affect the city's status, thus he is pushing the revival of the Revised Local Revenue Code of Bacolod City that shall govern the taxing powers of the city.

The implementation of the new Revenue Code was withdrawn upon a Court Order, thus the existing Revenue Code of Bacolod enacted in 1993 was re-adopted.

Leonardia said that a 17-year-old Revenue Code is not good governance and there is a need to re-introduce it to the City Council.

The second factor is that when the Revised Revenue Code of the city was implemented in 2008, many businesses paid under the adjusted rates in 2009. But the court has directed the city to withdraw the ordinance and there was over payment in 2009 and this year, they used it to pay its taxes.

These factors will constrain the city to downgrade the plantilla casuals to job order employees.

"I don't know how the casuals would react to this option that we are seriously considering. We will just implement whatever the circumstances call for. This was all about the circumstances and realities that we have to consider," he said.

Meanwhile, Councilor Al Victor Espino, City Council chairman of the Committee on Finance will re-introduce the Revised Revenue Code of the city.

He said that it's very timely because the existing Code no longer serves its purpose generating revenues because of very low rates.

He used the town of Hinigaran as example: Hinigaran charges P50 for its Burial Fee while the City Government of Bacolod charges P5.

The city pays the Bureau of Internal Revenue P15 per receipt which means that the city is still subsidizing P10 to purchase the forms from the BIR.

The existing tax rates are no longer pro-development and do not go with their call for a good governance.

Espino also said there is a need to consult the business sector regarding the re introduction of the revised Revenue Code. "We need to strike the balance between the needs of the city and that of the business sector," he said.

Leonardia also asked Espino to start working on the re-introduction of this Code so that they can implement it as soon as the process is completed.