Wednesday, September 29, 2021

TRO to CH lawyers, docs: Serve the City full-time

SAYING there are too many anomalies in City Hall, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña challenged professional workers in the City Government to resign if they can’t work full-time.

Osmeña made the statement after he issued a memorandum that cancels the authority to practice given to all professional employees at City Hall, including lawyers, doctors and certified public accountants, among others.

“I challenge them to resign kung di sila makahatag ug attention sa ilang physical work (if they cannot give attention to their work). They should resign then we will replace them,” he said.

He added that there are many anomalies at City Hall that have to be investigated because as mayor, he has an obligation to the people.

In the memo, Osmeña revoked the authority for them to practice their respective professions outside their work in the City Government, effective immediately.

They can only privately practice their profession if they have secured a written consent or authority from Osmeña.


“You are hereby informed that the authority to engage in the private practice of your profession is revoked effective immediately. Henceforth, you can no longer engage in the private practice of your profession without my written consent or authority,” read the memo dated June 30.

During former mayor Michael Rama’s term, the authority to engage in private practice was granted to professional workers of the City provided that it will not affect their work in City Hall.

Section 12, Rule 18 of the Revised Civil Service Rules states that “no officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation, or profession or be connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural, or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of department.

City Legal Office Chief Joseph Bernaldez said that as general rule, professional employees of City Hall should only serve the City Government.

He said that lawyers under the City Legal Office should follow the order of the mayor.

However, they might ask for reconsideration and request for authority to practice, particularly the lawyers because the salary they receive is fixed, he said.

“Our lawyers here have families. The income from their private practice will help them with their expenses at home, that is why we will request, if the lawyer can engage in private practice. There will be limitations, of course, and they should choose the cases and clients they will handle,” the city attorney said.

Bernaldez said their practice outside City Hall should be limited to notarial services and similar services.

“But that is on a case-to-case basis, subject to approval by the mayor,” he added.

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