Leaves of absences cancelled, recalled

CEBU City Acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña ordered the recall of applications and approved leave of absences of all City Hall employees.

A new memorandum was issued covering the matter after learning that almost all key officials from different departments and offices of the City are out.

“For the effective delivery of public services, all department heads are ordered to be in their respective stations and offices. This office expects your cooperation,” the acting mayor said in a one-page memorandum dated May 18.

Atty. Ralph Sevilla, who helped the office of Osmeña prepare the memorandum, said recalling all applications and approved leave of absences is a “management prerogative.”

He also said there is a Civil Service Commission rules that allows the local chief executive to do it.

Not the right time

Sevilla said now is not the right time for City employees or department heads to take a leave because the acting mayor wants to work fast.

“We need to work very fast considering that she will be the one who will turn over the management of the City to the new mayor,” he said.

Sevilla, who is the City’s former Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO) chief, is part of the transition team of the acting mayor’s husband Tomas, who will assume the mayoralty seat on July 1.

According to Sevilla, there are many things that Osmeña wants to do like getting the financial status of the City Government or an inventory of its job-order employees.

He said the Department of Interior and Local Government mandates the inventory of all personnel and fund utilization, among others, for the smooth turnover of administration.

However, Sevilla said they learned that several department heads, including City Administrator Lucelle Mercado, City Legal Office Chief Atty. Jerone Castillo and HRDO Chief Atty. Mary Ann Suson, are on leave.

All department heads are supposed to be part of the City’s transition team.

Penalty

“You know we just really have to do this (recall of leave). We are not crying sabotage but there is a probability. While department heads and supervisors are out, only their subordinates are left and they are not capable of answering questions on purely managerial functions. What will happen to the acting mayor every time the different departments are called and she’ll only be told that there’s no one answer her questions,” he said in Cebuano.

Sevilla said those who do not heed Osmeña’s order can face an administrative case of insubordination.

However, he said those who are already on leave can file an exemption, provided their reasons are valid.

Meanwhile, Osmeña asked Bureau of Local Government Finance 7 Director Mercy Santos to conduct a cash audit at the City Treasurer’s Office.

“This is for the interest of public transparency and accountability. It shall be appreciated if the said audit will be conducted the soonest time possible so as not to hamper the delivery of treasury services,” she said in a one-page letter to Santos dated May 18.

Osmeña had said she wanted to find out the true and real state of the City’s finances while she’s acting mayor.

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