Rama wants council to set Charter Day bonus amount

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.File photo

THE executive department of the Cebu City Government has asked the Cebu City Council to propose the amount of the Charter Day bonus for City Hall employees.

Cebu City Budget Officer Jerone Castillo said Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, that Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama expressed this request last Monday to the City Council for their input on the bonus amount.

Sought for comment, budget and finance committee chairman Councilor Noel Wenceslao said Wednesday that he cannot comment on the matter yet as this is the first time he has encountered such a request.

However, Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said they had yet to discuss it in the council.

“We will have to meet about it. We have not yet decided,” he said in a text message Wednesday.

Rama announced the Charter Day bonus for city hall employees during the flag-raising ceremony on Feb. 5.

Castillo said once the City Council comes up with the amount, it will then be the basis for the formal proposal of the mayor. The executive department, through the Local Finance Committee (LFC), will then look for the funding source.

He added that Rama wants to prevent a recurrence of the issues and controversies that surrounded the 2023 Christmas bonus for city hall employees.

Last December, Rama promised a P35,000 Christmas bonus for all regular and casual city hall employees; however, the city council approved only a P20,000 Christmas bonus.

“Karon para wala na gyud issues and concerns, let the Sanggunian suggest, and hopefully the mayor can connect with the Sanggunian that this is the amount that they have in mind,” Castillo said.

(Now, to avoid any further issues and concerns, let the city council suggest, and hopefully, the mayor can coordinate with the Sanggunian regarding the amount they have in mind.)

Castillo said Mayor Rama’s proposal, with the concurrence of the council, will be evaluated by the LFC, subject to savings and cash flow of the City Government that will support the source of funding.

After this, the executive department will then propose to the City Council a supplemental budget that will fund the charter day bonus to the employees, Castillo said.

However, Wenceslao on Wednesday said they were waiting for the executive department to submit its proposal to the legislative department for the approval of the Charter Day bonus.

He added it will be the council that will determine whether to slash or amend the exact amount of the bonus that will be granted in the supplemental budget.

Wenceslao refused to comment yet on the mayor’s request, saying this was the first time he had ever encountered a situation wherein the city council had to suggest the amount for the budget of the Charter Day bonus.

In 2023, the employees received P15,000 each after the Council approved Supplemental Budget 1 for 2023 amounting to P79 million for the Charter Day bonus of around 5,000 city hall employees.

Last January, however, City Hall reported that it had about 9,000 em­plo­­yees on its payroll, including over 4,000 job order per­sonnel, 3,212 casual and 1,400 regular employees.

The Cebu City Government celebrates Char­ter Day every Feb. 24.


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