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P4,000 stipend hike for city tanods mulled

Barangay tanods may receive something extra next year if Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s proposal to raise the city’s counterpart funding for their honoraria gets City Council approval.

From P2,000, the city’s counterpart funding  will be raised to P4,000 in addition to the honorarium that the city’s 1,6000 tanods are receiving from their  barangays, said Philip Zafra, Rama’s chief of staff.

The  higher honoraria is an expression of the city’s appreciation of the service of  tanods “since it’s difficult to find volunteers these days.”

An  P76.8 million  tanod counterpart fund is included in the P800 million aid to barangays set next year.

Other charges to the account include the P528 million assistance to be released at P6.6 million each to the 80 barangays.

About P32 million is also for the honoraria of garbage collectors.

Councilor Alvin Arcilla, a former Talamban barangay captain, questioned the proposed increase.

He said tanods in his barangay already receive P3,800 a month from the barangay.

He said if they get another P4,000 from the city government their honoraria will already be raised to P7,800 starting next year.

Tanods, he said, are supposed to be working as barangay volunteers who don’t have fixed work hours.

Arcilla said the P4,000 offer of counterpart funding from the city government is already enough to hire additional personnel to man traffic.

Barangay Talamban paid traffic enforcers, he said, receive a P3,800 honorarium per month.

Zafra assured the council’s budget committee that he will look into the matter.

Councilor Margot Osmena, the council’s budget committee chairperson, asked Zafra how they came up with the amount.

“Why do the small barangays get the same as the bigger barangays?” she asked.

Zafra explained that the amount was based on the request of the barangays and their actual needs.

But unlike the 2012 assistance that was released for social development projects, the 2013 assistance has no  specific guideline for its use.

“How do you equate need? It’s hard for me to believe that everybody will have the same request,” Osmena retorted.

She said she was confused with  why concreting of roads is placed under the non-office account of the office of the mayor and not the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).

“Putting it here does not mean it can be implemented.  We can always have a budget but no money to spend.  Let’s have something that we can implement,” Osmeña said. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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