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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Officials, workers of barangays allied with Team Rama have not received pay

ASSOCIATION of Barangay Council (ABC) Cebu City president Philip Zafra questioned why the honoraria of barangay workers from villages that are not allied with the present administration have not been released yet.

Zafra said Team Rama-allied villages have not received their counterpart honoraria from the City Government since May yet.

Those who have not been paid are garbage loaders, garbage truck drivers, tanods, lupons and barangay health workers, among others.

“I request the departments concerned to look into the matter because these people have not been playing. They need their honorarium to feed their family. What will they do considering they have not received pay for several months, that or they no longer want to work,” Zafra said in Cebuano.

“Partisan” distribution

Zafra, who is the barangay captain of Tisa, said the honoraria of barangays identified with the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) have been released.

Zafra said the current administration changed the process for the release of the honoraria of barangay workers.

The payrolls are processed per barangay instead of for every cluster, which was the practice in the previous administration.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but it seems that the honoraria that have been released all belonged to allies of BOPK,” he said in Cebuano.

Zafra said he feels bad for the garbage loaders and garbage truck drivers since they’re the ones collecting garbage in the barangays.

Since May, Zafra said, workers from barangays allied to Team Rama have only been receiving the counterpart from the barangay, which amounts to at least P1,000.

But those in the mountain barangays, though, don’t have a counterpart due to budgetary constraints.

“That’s why this needs to be changed, and we need to set aside politics even if we cannot see eye-to-eye and we are not under one party. The barangay elections have been postponed, while the national and local elections are over. It’s about time we help each other,” he said in Cebuano.

Of the 80 barangays in the city, 15 are identified with BOPK.

Sought for comment, City Budget Office Head Marietta Gumia said those who were hired by the previous administration can get their salaries up to June.

But she doesn’t know yet if their payrolls are with the City Treasurer’s Office.

Last July, Osmeña announced he would stop giving cash honoraria to barangay officials and workers who are not identified with BOPK.

The move, he explained, is part of his efforts to trim City Hall’s expenses.

P418-M budget

Based on the more than P6-billion approved 2016 budget of the City, some P418.58 million has been set aside as financial assistance to barangay officials and workers from January to December.

This covers the cash aid for 1,000 Lupong Tagapamayapa (P72 million) and 1,600 tanods (P115.2 million). Each of them receives P6,000 per month from the City.

The budget also covers the financial assistance for 600 drivers and loaders who receive P7,000 per month (P50.4 million), 82 city nutrition scholars who also receiving P7,000 per month (P6.88 million) and 600 barangay health workers who receive P7,500 per month (P54 million).

The City also gives P6,000 per month each to the 500 barangay environmental officers (P36 million), P8,000 to 300 day care workers (P28.8 million), P7,000 per month to 80 gender and development focal persons (P6.7 million) and P3,000 to 16 street sweepers (P576,000).

As for the barangay officials’ incentives, a P48-million budget has been set aside for it.

The City gives P5,000 per month as cash incentive to each of the 80 barangay captains; P3,000 per month each to 560 councilors; P2,000 per month each to barangay treasurers; and P2,000 per month to barangay secretaries.
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