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No session, no bonus

By: Julit C. Jainar May 25,2016 - 10:30 PM

THE MIDYEAR bonus for Cebu City Hall employees as well as the additional honoraria for teachers serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) are currently on hold as the council failed anew to hold a session yesterday.

The budget hearing is likewise at a standstill as no discussions can be made because most of the councilors have been suspended.

Of the 16 councilors and one ex-officio member, only five are on active duty. One is appointed acting mayor, the other is acting vice mayor
Lea Japson, who is supposed to preside over the session being acting vice mayor, wrote the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7 to ask whether the four remaining councilors and Association of Barangay Councils president Philip Zafra as ex-officio member can hold a session, but until now there has been no response to her query. Only Councilors Japson, Richard Osmeña, Zafra and James Anthony Cuenco were not suspended.

Japson for her part said she will not call for a session until she gets a go-signal from the DILG.

She said the DILG regional office wants to consult their central office before answering her query.

“Naghuwat ko sa ilang reply kay dili ko kibaw sa legality namong upat (I am waiting for their reply so we would know the legality of the session),” Japson said.

BUDGET HEARING

Japson said there are many important matters in the agenda which need to be tackled by the city council, including the 2016 budget.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña, who headed the budget and finance committee of the council, has been appointed acting mayor. It would have fallen on Osmeña to prepare the final budget ordinance which would be discussed and approved by the council.

“Nalabad sad akong ulo mag sabot ming upat kun kinsay mo act didto sa discussion or kinsay mo submit para sa ordinance nga ma final to nato kay until now wala paman to na submit ang gipangayo sa committee on budget and finance (I am confused. Maybe we will just agree on who will submit the ordinance, so we can finalize it because until now the committee on budget and finance has not submitted what was asked for),” Japson said.

Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas earlier said they wanted to just charge the midyear bonus, or the 14th month pay, to the year-end bonus account under the 2015 annual budget since the city is currently using the 2015 reenacted budget.

The 14th month pay for government employees is mandated under the Salary Standardization Law which was just approved this year.

The executive department included an P88-million proposal for the 14th month pay in the proposed revised 2016 annual budget which is still pending.

For now, employees will have to wait until the revised 2016 annual budget is approved and passed before they can get their midyear bonus.

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