Gamboa explains stand on P8M budget for BCGEU
Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. clarified last week that his intention of enjoining the Bacolod City Government Employees Union (BCGEU) through its president Atty. Allyn Dignadice was not to deprive casuals and job-orders employees of benefits, but for the organizing entity which is the BCGEU to account for its financial, outcome and accomplishment using said amount.
Gamboa stated that this enjoinment was through an approved amended Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) resolution for BCGEU to submit financial, outcome and accomplishment report regarding the P8 Million budget released by the City Government to them to fund the three-day “Year End Assessment-cum-Christmas Party” activities last December 2017.
He explained, the resolution was filed not just because of public outcries and criticisms but in the spirit of public trust, accountability and transparency, adding, “The content of said resolution was absolutely not tainted with malice but with the noble intention of knowing where the public’s money as big as P8 Million went.”
Gamboa added, however, that as a matter of personal opinion, this P8 million budget should be considered in various light: primarily, was it expended judiciously and within propriety? Why must this yearend activity held for three days?
He also added, “Secondarily, there are legal issues to this matter. There exists Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Budget Circulars which clearly “enumerates exclusions from coverage in the rules and regulations on the payment of cash gifts and yearend bonuses, the government personnel hired without employer-employee relationships (job order/casuals) funded from non-personnel services appropriations or budget” including gift packs or the giving out of gift packs – are not allowed.
Gamboa also said, however, that comparing the P5.6 Million budget of the previous administration, it was released on the strength of a Department of Interior and Local government (DILG) Circular that job order/casuals can received cash or gift checks of the not more that P2,000.00 for the old job orders and not more than P1,000.00 for the new job orders in a form of “Gratuity Pay”.
It was, therefore, legal and quite unlike this P8 Million budget which was released on sheer conduit with BCGEU.
He stressed, “The project description of three-day activity is called “An Assessment of the Annual Delivery of Services of the City Employees to the Stakeholders…” which, according to Civil Service rules, an employees’ union like the BCGEU does not have any jurisdiction, duty and function at all. Service delivery assessment is the function of department heads not BCGEU and which in fact had already been done by departments.”
Gamboa also explained that after listening to complaints from job orders/casuals, was the P8 Million budget spent proportionately and commensurate for supposedly three days? Food stuffs distributed to job orders/casual were deemed substandard and some were really spoiled prompting many to grumble that they were deceived and hoodwinked.
He now urged that the people of Bacolod be vigilant about “certain abuses such as this which is scandalous, unconscionable and sheer manifestation of insatiable greed.”*