Council okays P1M to cover 4 workers’ salaries

CEBU. The Cebu City Hall.
CEBU. The Cebu City Hall.File photo

THE Cebu City Council approved on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, the resolution allotting a little over P1 million to cover six months’ worth of salaries and productivity enhancement incentives of four regular employees who were not paid for 10 months.

The initial proposal of City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, committee on budget and finance chairman, asked for P1,083,232.16, which was the amount the Office of the City Administrator requested to pay Sybil Ann Ybañez, Filomena Atuel, Ma. Almicar Diongzon and Chito Dela Cerna.

This will cover their salaries from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023.

The four employees already received four months’ worth of salaries

“Happy kaayo mi kay gipaspasan gyud og maayo sa City Council (We are very happy that the City Council expedited the process) through the order of our Acting Mayor Raymond (Alvin) Garcia,” Ybañez said.

The breakdown of the P1,083,232.16 is P177,205.36 for the salaries of the four employees from July to December plus their productivity enhancement incentive of P20,000 each.

Ybañez said she expects to receive close to P300,000, as she has the highest salary grade among the four of them.

However, she said they are worried about the penalties from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) since they were not able to give their contributions during the months they were not paid.

“We found that we had been cut off, and tagged as resigned. But now we are back in the system because they had received our remittances for the first four months of this year,” she said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

She said they are still waiting for the City to remit their contributions from July to December last year.

After the press conference on Monday, May 13, Garcia visited the City Assessor’s Office where he met the four regular employees to assure them that they would receive their remaining unpaid salaries by Monday, May 20, at the latest.

Ybañez, Atuel, Diongzon and Dela Cerna filed a complaint before the Ombudsman over their reassignments and the non-release of their salaries that resulted in the preventive suspension of Mayor Michael Rama, City Administrator Collin Rosell, his wife Office of the City Assessor officer-in-charge Ma. Theresa Rosell and five others for six months.

Even though Mayor Rama is currently out of the picture, he has received support from League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) vice president Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina Belmonte.

Rama is the league’s president.

In a letter dated Tuesday, Belmonte highlighted his integrity and dedication to serving constituents.

She emphasized the presumption of innocence and urged people to consider Rama’s “character” and “contributions” before making judgments.

Belmonte urged everyone in the LCP to support the beleaguered mayor and the rule of law, expressing confidence that justice will prevail. / AML


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