Cebu City Hall employees need to wait longer for Charter Day bonus

File photo
File photo

TWO weeks have passed since the Charter Day celebration in Cebu City, but City Hall employees still haven’t gotten hold of the promised P15,000 bonus for the special occasion—they may have to wait for some time pending the approval of the proposed first supplemental budget (SB) for this year.

The City Council received the proposed SB 1, which amounts to P67.589 million, from the office of Mayor Michael Rama on Feb. 21, 2023.

Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, told SunStar Cebu Thursday, March 9, that the proposed budget will be referred to his committee for further study and recommendations.

Last Feb. 20, Rama announced during a flag-raising ceremony at the City Hall that all regular and casual employees would receive a P15,000 bonus in line with the City’s 86th Charter Day anniversary on Feb. 24.

But before that, Rama even made announcements that he wanted to give out as much as P50,000 per employee if the City’s coffers would allow it.

In 2022, regular and casual employees of City Hall received only P10,000 each.

As of Sept. 30, 2022, City Hall had 1,367 regular employees and 3,433 casual employees.

Since SB 1 will be passed through an ordinance, Wenceslao said there is a need to conduct a budget hearing before the sought funds will be approved, and this might take some time.

“Amoa sa gi refer sa akong (we have referred this to my) committee, then after that, I will make a report and call for a budget hearing,” he said.

According to Wenceslao, most of SB 1’s allocation is intended for personal services or salaries of employees, which includes the Charter Day bonus.

Wenceslao said the schedule for the budget hearing is intentionally being delayed since the City Government is also waiting for the results of the City’s annual budget review being conducted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The DBM’s budget review is expected to be received by the City Government this month, he added.

Should there be a delay in the release of the budget review, the City Council can still conduct a budget hearing, but a committee report from Wenceslao’s budget and finance committee must be crafted first.

The earliest date for the public hearing to commence would be around the fourth week of March, said Wenceslao.

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