Wenceslao: No official request yet for Charter Day bonus

Wenceslao: No official request yet for Charter Day bonus
SunStar File

LESS than two weeks before Cebu City’s 87th Charter Day celebration, no supplemental budget ordinance concerning City Hall employees’ Charter Day bonus and other items has been filed for deliberation at the City Council.

City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, budget and finance committee chairman, said during City Hall’s teleradyo online program, “Pagtuki, Pagsusi, Pagsuta,” on Wednesday, Feb. 14, that the executive department has not yet submitted any documents regarding the promised Charter Day bonus.

Wenceslao said he had asked City Budget Officer Jerone Castillo to expedite the required documents from the executive department so the council can start crafting a supplemental budget ordinance and proceed with the budget hearing.

Wenceslao said Castillo had told him that there was a delay in the preparations due to the finalizing of an additional budget for the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA) and the Palarong Pambansa 2024 to be held in the city. The budget for both sporting events will be part of the Supplemental Budget No. 1.

Wenceslao said he asked Castillo not to delay it further so it can be finished and approved on or before Feb. 24.

He said no specific details have been provided yet for the additional budget requested for CVRAA and the Palarong Pambansa.

Cebu City celebrates Charter Day every Feb. 24. Cebu City, formerly a town, became a city in 1937 during the American colonial period.

Marathon session

Wenceslao said the supplemental budget needs to be scrutinized by the council, as its approval requires the entire council’s consensus, not just that of the mayor or vice mayor.

He said once the legislative department receives the proposal, he will propose a marathon session to scrutinize the items in the supplemental budget.

The council will invite members of the Local Finance Committee, the city treasurer, the city accountant, and city budget officer to determine if funds are available for the supplemental budget.

Wenceslao said Castillo had told him on Monday, Feb. 11, that funds are available, pending confirmation by the city treasurer.

Wenceslao added that they would assess the available funds and other city expenses to ensure financial stability and avoid potential issues. The City Treasurer’s Office collected a gross amount of P7,556,320,087.76 as of October 2023.

In a follow-up interview on Thursday, Feb. 15, Wenceslao assured that the amount they will approve for the supplemental budget will not exceed what is needed and would only consist of the necessary items that were not appropriated during the annual budget appropriations.


As for the exact amount for the bonus, Wenceslao said he hopes that the council will approve the initially proposed P25,000 bonus of Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, which will be formalized by an ordinance. In 2023, Cebu City Hall employees received P15,000 as a Charter Day bonus.

Personally, Wenceslao said he would prefer to increase the amount if there are no issues with fund availability.

When asked if they could still give the bonus if they could not enact a supplemental budget ordinance before Feb. 24, Wenceslao said they still can. He, however, said its approval before the Charter Day would be preferable to ensure timely disbursement to employees.


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