P25K Charter Day bonus proposed

Cebu City Hall
Cebu City HallImage from Google Street View

CEBU City Hall employees may receive P25,000 bonus for Charter Day, which is observed on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.

This was the announcement of City Budget Officer Jerone Castillo, who also chairs the Local Finance Committee (LFC), during the flag-raising ceremony on Monday, Feb. 12.

Castillo said the amount is still an initial proposal, and it is subject for deliberation by the City Council.

Castillo said the P25,000 Charter Day bonus was proposed by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.

The council still needs to formalize the Charter Day bonus by passing an ordinance, and the final amount would also depend on the available funds of the City Government, according to Castillo.

The budget officer urged council members to expedite the passage of the ordinance pertaining to the Charter Day bonus, which will be given to regular and casual employees, as well as job order (JO) personnel.

In the same event, Mayor Michael Rama said in a speech that he did not want the disclosure of the amount for Charter Day bonus.

“I have enough of hurts,” Rama said.

The mayor was referring to the unapproved Christmas bonus of P35,000 he had promised to regular and casual employees and elected officials, and a gratuity pay amounting to P10,000 for JOs.

In 2023, the council only approved a P20,000 Christmas bonus, and a P5,000 gratuity pay for JO personnel.

“The LFC will be one to say how much bonus they could give,” Rama said.

Cebu City became a chartered city on Feb. 24, 1937. The mayor’s grandfather, Vicente Rama, is known as the “Father of Cebu City” as he authored the bill for its cityhood.

In 2023, the City Council approved only two supplemental budgets for the bonuses of the employees.

On March 29, 2023, the council approved SB 1 for 2023 amounting to P79 million for the Charter Day bonus of around 5,000 City employees. The employees received P15,000 each.

On Dec. 13, 2023, the council approved SB 2 amounting to P337.9 million for the P20,000 Christmas bonus of employees and P5,000 gratuity pay of JO workers.

Sorting employees

After the flag-raising ceremony Monday, Rama also sorted out the City Hall employees based on the number of years they have been serving, from 30 years and above down to less than a year.

He also checked who are the regular, casual, and job order personnel, as well as the elected officials.

The mayor did this by calling the employees and had them stay in a group.

He also requested the employees’ assistance in identifying employees engaged in theft so that they would not be rehired.

Last January, the executive department found out that the City Government employs around 10,000 individuals, not 7,000 as initially believed.

If he stays on his target, around 7,000 employees may lose their jobs as Rama plans to only have 3,000 employees – whether regular, casual or job order – when his term ends in 2025.

In a SunStar Cebu report last January, Rama said the rightsizing was supposed to start in October 2023, but he decided to defer it to 2024 so the employees would receive their Christmas bonus.


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