Cebu City Hall cuts down allowances for judiciary
The Cebu City government will cut down the monthly allowances it gives to judges and clerks of court working under the jurisdiction of Cebu City.
Data culled from the City Budget Office showed that there are 35 judges, 38 clerks of courts, and 5 social workers from the Court of Appeals (CA), Regional Trial Court (RTC), and Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) receiving the allowance from the city.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that he will cut down by 50 percent the judges’ allowances and by 75 percent the allowance of clerks. Osmeña said the allowance cut will be effective immediately.
“We are running a major deficit here. We have gotten to the point wherein the previous administration will sell land to pay salaries. I am doing my share. I am not hiring a single consultant, not one. The city did not even spend a single centavo on our oath-taking ceremony. I am not going to make everybody suffer, I am just doing my share,” said Osmeña.
Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Soliver Peras said it is the prerogative of the city government to cut down the allowances.
“Kung naay allowance, maayo. Pero kung tangtangon nila, unsa may mahimo nato? Ilaha man ng prerogative. (If there is an allowance, well and good. But if they take it away, what can we do? It is their prerogative),” Peras said.
RTC Branch 9 presiding judge Ramon Daomilas Jr. said the grant of the allowance benefits “depends upon the discretion of the granting authority and that whatever their decision about it should be respected.”
“For me, we will just do our job with or without allowance,” Daomilas added.
According to City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia, the current allowance for the four justices from CA is at P25,000 per month each.
There are 23 judges of the RTC who receive P20,000 per month and eight from the MTCC with a monthly allowance of P15,000.
Clerks of Court and five social workers from the RTC get P4,000 each monthly.
In a year, the city allocated P10,224,000 for the allowances of the 78 judges, clerks and social workers. Gumia said that all of them are part of payroll.
She added it was Osmeña’s initiative to give allowances for the judiciary in 2008.
“I decided to give the judges ever since I started the program because I really felt they were underpaid and temptation is very strong, and they all have internal financial needs that’s why I decided to give assistance to judges because that’s a very sensitive position,” he said.
The mayor said they need to spend the city government’s money as wisely as possible, and as strictly as possible.
He even said he intended to recover government-owned real properties and resell it at “the right price.”
According to him, the city government is not giving their department heads the kind of allowance the judges and clerks of courts are receiving./with UP Cebu Intern Morexette Marie Erram
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