AFTER the Regional Trial Court (RTC) judges, the Cebu City Government is now ready to grant additional allowances to the city prosecutors, but not the same amount as the judges are getting.

Mayor Michael Rama agreed yesterday to increase the allowances of city prosecutors, but he did not specify yet how much the 33 fiscals from the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office will get.

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He tasked City Administrator Jose Mari Poblete and City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez to check if the City can also give additional allowances to fiscals of the Regional State Prosecutor's Office.

Unlike the case of judges, however, the City will not match the monthly salary of the fiscals.

The city prosecutors receive P5,000 monthly allowance from the City.

“Yes, we will give them additional allowances but we don't know yet how much.

Our finances can cover it as long as it will not cause an imbalance in the salaries of City Hall personnel. I don't think we can double the fiscals' salary but the amount of the allowance will be given fairly and squarely,” Rama told Sun.Star Cebu.

When former mayor Tomas Osmeña approved the increase of the judges' allowances earlier this year, he did not agree to give an increase to the prosecutors.

Four prosecutors led by Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane visited Rama in his office yesterday and formally raised to him the request for an increase in monthly allowances of city fiscals.

Rama said Bernaldez and Poblete, who are both lawyers, will still have to assess how much the prosecutors' allowances should be, considering their functions and workload.

Early last month, Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro said the city prosecutors also want additional allowances from the City, or an increase of as much as P30,000.

But even before they can make a formal request, the city prosecutors changed their mind and said they would just wait for the city officials to initiate the allowance increase.

Their request came after Osmeña increased the allowances of judges from the RTC, Municipal Trial Court in Cities and Court of Appeals by P30,000 to P45,000 each.

Osmeña increased their allowances, believing an increase in their take-home pay minimizes corruption and keeps them away from the temptation to accept money from some parties.