WITH the mayor and Cebu City Council competing to be generous with City Hall employees on Christmas, can the city government afford big bonuses?
The mayor said he already directed City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete and the Local Finance Committee to look for the funds.
Rama said his plan to give P20,000 to each employee, which is double last year’s bonus, is much better than paying disputed money claims of Rallos heirs in the long-running court case over a private lot in in barangay Sambag being used for a road.
A third supplemental budget covering the bonuses is supposed to be deliberated on Dec. 12 in the city council.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young earlier criticized the mayor’s plan as a “childish” attempt to win popularity by upstaging the City Council’s resolution endorsing a P15,000 bonus for the city’s 5,000 employees.
The mayor was undeterred.
“They don’t know the final amount for the bonuses,” he said yesterday.
“The P10,000 that I mentioned is only the minimum. There’s a maximum amount.”
The mayor earlier said he would set “pre-conditions” for the bonus but was still weighing the factors.
The promise has naturally boosted the hopes of city employees.
“The 20,000 that the mayor promised would be a big help. It would help pay for our loans before Christmas,” said one worker who requested anonymity.
Young said he intends to claim his Christmas bonus whatever the amount will be but cautioned that large bonuses may sacrifice other services of the city.
“Whatever money that we have should be spent on more important concerns of the city,” the vice mayor said.
Young accused the mayor of trying to “buy” the support of City Hall employees this way.
Rama brushed aside the vice mayor’s accusations.
“I don’t have to answer that. They wanted to pay a debt that wasn’t supposed to be paid,” said Rama, referring to the P133 million money claim of the Rallos heirs which the mayor refuses to pay based a convenio that shows the road lot was donated many years ago to the city.