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4 Cebu City ex-tax mappers cry: Give us our 10 months worth of salaries

4 regular employees of Cebu City Hall claim they were not paid their salaries since July 2023

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 17,2024 - 08:12 AM

4 Cebu City tax mappers cry: Give us our 10 months worth of salaries

JULY 16, 2023: A glimpse at the facade of the Cebu City Hall. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Four regular employees of the Cebu City government have reported that they have not received their salaries since July 2023. This amounts to nearly 10 months of work without pay.

They brought this issue to the attention of the media on Tuesday, April 16, hoping to prompt action from the city government, which has consistently pledged to address their concerns.


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The employees said that while they preferred not to involve the media to prevent additional complications, but they felt that they had no choice, as they had endured the situation for an extended period and were unable to take further action.

Sybil Ann Ybañez, one of the four affected employees, said that the problem began in June 2023 when they received a reassignment order.

The four individuals: Maria Almicar Diongzon, Filomena Atuel, Chito Dela Cerna, and Ybañez, were all regular items at the Cebu City Assessor’s Office. They were tax mappers.

Ybañez said that she was reassigned as a house parent at Operation Second Chance in Kalunasan — according to the June 1 reassignment order. Meanwhile, Diongzon, Atuel, and Dela Cerna were reassigned to different offices within the city.


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Ybañez and the others questioned the relevance of their new assignments and sought advice from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) field office.

They filed an appeal challenging the reassignments. The CSC subsequently ruled that the pending reassignments were non-executory.

However, despite the CSC’s decision, they observed that they appeared to have been replaced already. Although they continued reporting to the office, they weren’t receiving salaries.

After seven months, they sought assistance from Mayor Michael Rama and City Councilor Nestor Archival for the release of their salaries.

On January 24, 2024, the City Council issued and approved Resolution No. 16-2453-2024, authored by Archival, requesting Mayor Rama to release their unpaid salaries and other benefits for humanitarian purposes.

Following the resolution’s approval, Henry Tomalabcad, the head of the Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO), said that he had coordinated with the Assessors Office and the City Legal Office for the release of their salaries and benefits, but nothing materialized.

The situation became more confusing when they received a designation order instructing them to report directly to Lawyer Collin Rosell, the city administrator under the City Administrator’s Office.

Rosell assured them that their salaries would be processed, but to date, they had yet to receive any salaries.

“Storyahan ra man mi nga okay na kuno, wala na daw problema… karon na discourage na gyud mi…,” Ybanez said.

(They will only tell us that it is already okay, there is no problem…Now, we are really discourage…)

Ybañez said that they filed administrative and criminal complaints against several city officials on February 23, 2024. However, as of now, the status of these complaints is still under evaluation.

Meanwhile, reporters attempted to contact Lawyer Collin Rosell on April 16 for a statement. However, at the time of reaching out, he mentioned being in a meeting and promised to respond afterward.

On Wednesday, April 17, Rosell confirmed to give a statement regarding the issue in a press briefing at 11 a.m., today at Cebu City Hall.

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TAGS: Cebu City, tax mappers, unpaid salaries

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