Cebu City Hall
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Budget ordinance for charter bonus remains unfiled

THE budget ordinance concerning the charter bonus and other items had not yet been filed, a week before Cebu City’s 87th Charter Day celebration.

During Cebu City Hall’s online program “Pagtuki, Pagsusi, Pagsuta” on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao, chairman of the budget and finance committee, said that as of Wednesday, the executive department has not yet submitted any documents regarding the proposed charter day bonus.

Wenceslao said he already requested City Budget Officer Jerone Castillo to expedite the necessary documents coming from the executive so that they could begin making a budget ordinance and do the necessary budget hearings.

Wenceslao said Castillo explained there was a delay in preparations due to finalizing the additional budget for Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA) and Palarong Pambansa, which are also part of Supplemental Budget 1.

He asked Castillo not to delay it further so it can be finished and approved on or before February 24, 2024.

He said there are no specifics yet regarding the additional budget for CVRAA and Palarong Pambansa.

Cebu City will celebrate the 87th charter day on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

No deliberation

He said no deliberations have taken place due to the absence of documents containing the proposal, which serve as the basis for creating an ordinance.

“Ang supplemental budget kinahanglan tukion sa konseho kay it’s not only the mayor that will approve nor the vice mayor, but the entire council,” Wenceslao said.

He said once the legislative department receives the proposal, he plans to propose marathon sessions to discuss the necessity of the items included in the supplemental budget.

He said they will conduct budget hearings where the members of the local finance committee, city treasurer, city accountant, and city budget officer will be summoned to determine if there are available funds for this purpose.

He said that Castillo said on February 11 that there are available funds, but this needs to be confirmed by the city treasurer.

He said they will check how much funds are available and what other expenses the City needs to cover to ensure it would not be a problem for our finances.

“We have to balance the funds that will be available,” Wenceslao said.

Exact amount

As for the exact amount that they could give to the employees, Wenceslao hoped the council would approve the proposed amount.

Wenceslao said, as his personal take, he would prefer to increase the amount if there are no issues with fund availability.

“Kay ako, kun wala lang jud problema sa availability of funds, ngano dili gud. Pwede gani pun-an,” he said.

He said they have to see it first if there are enough funds because it will be difficult to allocate if the budget falls short, especially since the city of Cebu has seen an increase in its financial needs due to the extensive development in the city.

When asked if they could still give the bonus if they could not enact the budget ordinance before February 24, Wenceslao said yes, but emphasized that it would be preferable for it to be approved before the charter day to ensure it can be provided on or before that day.

He added that aside from the bonus, there are awards to be given to deserving employees who excelled during the year. But he did not mention what these awards are and who will be the recipients.

Wenceslao posed a question regarding the charter day bonus if it should be given to the employees.

He said it has been customary to give charter day bonuses, which is a way of recognizing the hard work of the employees.

He said it is appropriate to give recognition to the employees who have contributed in the city’s development and assisted in serving the people.

In 2023, Cebu City Hall employees received P15,000 as charter day bonus.

In a follow-up interview on Thursday, February 15, 2024, Wenceslao assured that the amount they will approve for the supplemental budget will not exceed what is needed.

“Ang supplemental budget kay ang mga kinahanglan sa syudad nga wala ma appropriated during the annual budget appropriations,” he said.

He said what they would approve is the certain amount needed for a specific item. (AML)

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