Junjun Binay: Peña lying, Makati in transition to full ATM system by September
The camp of suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay slammed acting Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña for “deliberately” giving the impression that the Binay administration did not do any action to modernize the payroll system of the city government employees.
Councilor Marie Alethea Casal-Uy, an ally of the suspended mayor, said on Thursday, that the official public documents and records of the city government would prove that the automation process for the payroll system “is already well underway with the ongoing registration of regular employees with LandBank of the Philippines’ Visa Debit Card Payroll System.”
“Peña’s chief information officer does not seem to know what he is talking about. His boss as then Presiding Officer of the City Council was present when we approved the resolution needed to begin the payroll automation process in June 2014. In fact, he signed the resolution,” Casal-Uy added.
On Wednesday, Makati City’s newly appointed Public Information Office head Gilbert Delos Reyes expressed Peña’s commitment to fully implement this electronic system by the end of the year. The acting mayor said he believed that the ATM system was one of the best tools he could use to “exorcise” the bureaucracy of ghost employees and protect the city’s budget from future abuse.
“For the longest time, city hall has been haunted by the allegation of ghost employees milking the city’s funds dry. By modernizing government financial management processes using available technology, we safeguard the city’s resources and end the system of ‘envelopmental employment’ since ATM accounts will only be available to legitimate city hall employees who can show sufficient proof of identification,” he explained.
To this, Casal-Uy said that Peña and his people failed to do their homework before releasing their statement.
“They seem to have overlooked the fact that the payroll automation process has been going on for some time now, and that the first phase of the project – devoted to the registration of all regular employees – is almost completed,” the councilor said.
She added that City Resolution No. 2014-105 passed in June last year authorized Binay to represent the city government in a memorandum of agreement with LandBank to have the salary of the employees including those at the Ospital ng Makati and University of Makati through the bank’s Visa Debit Card Payroll System.
“Under the MOA, the LandBank Visa Debit Card also allows the cardholder to shop online, pay bills and purchase over the phone and via email, so that he or she does not have to carry cash,” she added.
She added that 16 out of the 33 city offices have already secured their LandBank ATM cards.
“Human Resource Department records show that the initial batch of regular employees started to draw their salaries using their LandBank ATM debit cards last April 15. Those from 11 other offices and departments are scheduled to use theirs to claim their salary for the period July 16 to 31 at the end of this month,” the city councilor added.
The other 17 offices have reportedly filled out their forms for their ATM applications and are already for processing as of July 8 and are expected to use their cards come September this year.
Casal-Uy said the city first attempted to automate the payroll system during the time of Binay’s mother Elenita but noted that it was short-lived because the employees expressed dissatisfaction with the long lines and frequent breakdowns of ATM outlets.
“With the availability of more ATMs and improved accessibility for clients today, the implementation of the automated payroll system at this time was considered as timely and viable by Mayor Binay,” she added.