The mayor yesterday said he is thinking of giving out bonuses of as much as P20,000 for each employee, double what they received last year.
Rama said the Christmas bonus would have some “pre-conditions” which he will set but wouldn’t say what these are.
“Trabahoonon pa na (We’re still working on that),” he told reporters.
Last year, the city government gave out P10,000 as an additional Christmas bonus to about 5, 000 regular and casual employees and city officials last year.
Rama said the employees deserve the additional perk in recognition of their display of volunteerism, cooperation and hard work especially when the city worked double time to prepare for typhoon Pablo and when it hosted the Nov. 21 national thanksgiving celebration for San Pedro Calungsod.
Rama also said the city’s recognition as the 2012 best LGU in e-governance implementation by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is also due to the hard work of City Hall employees.
“We just have to assume that most employees are doing their job and maybe they have changed their culture,” he said.
The mayor’s critics however, don’t see anything noble in his intentions.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said that Rama is again trying to buy the support of City Hall employees with the 2013 election in mind.
“Everybody at City Hall will just accept the money and be happy with it but people already know what is his intention so wala ra nay effect,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Rama said in an earlier interview that he intends to give out the same amount this December as last year.
But the City Council approved last month a resolution introduced by Councilor Leah Japson increasing to P15,000 the additional cash gift for City Hall employees.
The resolution however, said that only City Hall employees and not elected officials are entitled to the cash gift.
Rama said he appreciated the council’s decision to endorse a P15,000 bonus and he would submit his third supplemental budget covering the bonuses for consideration of the council during their Dec. 12 session.
City Treasurer Emma Villarete said possible fund sources are savings from Personnel Service (PS) appropriations since some work items were funded in the 2012 budget but were not filled up.
Brushing aside his critics, Rama said he only wanted to give City Hall employees what is due to them.
He said that if towns and municipalities could afford to give large bonuses to their employees, he sees no reason Cebu City can’t do the same.
“Pila na ka tuig nag laway ang atong mga City Hall employees (How many years have City Hall employees been longing for this),” Rama said.
The vice mayor called the mayor’s plan “childish.
Young said the mayor just wanted to look more generous than the City Council by topping the P15, 000 amount endorsed by the legislature.
The City Council approved a P5.4 billion budget for city operations this year but the treasurer’s office collected only P4 billion in local taxes.
“Kana si Mayor Rama wala nay originality. Mohatag siyag P20,000 kay iyang palabwan ang P15, 000 nga gi-endorse sa city council? (Mayor Rama has no originality. He wants to give them P20,000 because he just wants to top the P15,000 bonus endorsed by the city council),” Young said.
Young said he would accept his share if Rama authorizes a P20, 000 bonus to City Hall employees and officials.
But he cautioned Rama that forcing a P20, 000 bonus may sacrifice some of the city’s services.
Young said that in his visits to the barangays, he noticed that garbage is uncollected because garbage trucks are already dilapidated or lack gasoline.
“But I will not be surprised if he does that (release huge bonuses) because Rama is so poor in fiscal management. Mura siyag bata. Iyang buhaton ug unsay iyang gusto para magpagwapo siya…. But the truth is that the city is going bankrupt under his administration,” said Young.
He said the confidence gesture would not help Rama anymore based on a Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) survey that he said showed most Cebuanos polled will vote for south district Rep. Tomas Osmena if an election is held today.