TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Job order employees working in offices under Cagayan’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) have yet to receive their salaries since the second quarter of 2018, a board member said on Wednesday, March 21.
Board Member Perla Tumaliuan, the committee chair on civil service, opened this up during session on Wednesday, March 21, adding that she has heard “a lot” from SP’s employees and job orders that they have “never” received their salaries.
Offices under the provincial board include the board members’ offices, Provincial Learning Resource Center (PLRC), and the vice governor’s office (VGO).
The board said, among the other departments of the provincial government, including that of the capitol, JOs and casual employees of SP offices have yet to get their salaries.
“I just want to get at the bottom and reason why they do not receive their rendered service and I think as committee chair of the civil service I have the right to know what went wrong because everybody here must know,” Tumaliuan said.
“We understand na kailangan din po nilang mabuhay. Yung maliit po na halaga na sa sahod na makukuha po nila malaking bagay po yun for them to lee in their day-to-day means. That is why it is very critical that we have to let them suffer these kinds of problem that they do not know the reason behind. So that, if we may know, we will do something about it,” the board member added.
Vice Governor Melvin “Boy” Vargas Jr said a reliable source told him the SP’s Allotment Release Order (ARO) was sent back to the governor’s office and later endorsed to the Provincial Administrator wherein no release order is done up to date.
Under the Budget Operation Manual for Local Government Units, the ARO “is issued to each Department/Office to give the Department Head the comprehensive authority to incur obligations up to the amount of the released allotment.”
“Nagtataka po tayo at bakit hanggang ngayon ay hindi niya pa po napipirmahan, nakasuweldo na po sana yung mga empleyado natin dito sa tatlong hanay ng opisina na hawak po natin na [samantalang] alam naman po natin yung ibang hanay dito po sa provincial government ay narileasan na,” Vargas said in a media interview after session.
The board had approved the 2017 Executive Budget last December.
“Whatever the reason is, we should find out pero the ones who will suffer is not us. Hindi naman po yung mga permanent employees [ang magsa-suffer] pero yung mga casuals and job orders dahil sila po ay parte po doon sa ARO na hindi pinipirmahan and they have families, they have two or three children who are studying, they are breadwinners of their families,” Vargas said.
Provincial Budget Officer Edna Lingan reportedly told Vargas she will seek the advice and opinion of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Vargas, however, questioned the move as to why DBM opinion is needed since the 2017 appropriation ordinance was already reviewed and approved by DBM.
Vargas said the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) has also released a letter explaining the reason behind the hold. Vargas said he has yet to receive that letter.
“I will wait for the letter para sa ganun ay maaksyonan naman natin o mareplyan naman natin tungkol dito sa hindi pa pagpipirma ng ARO dito sa tatlong hanay na kung saan tayo mamumuno,” Vargas said.
He said the SP will use the PLO’s letter as basis in making a letter to the DBM in clarifying if the move to hold SP JOs and casuals is under the approved 2017 budget.
“Sa tingin ko naman it cannot be overpowered by an executive order or a memorandum because this itself is the law, an appropriation ordinance we passed,” Vargas added.
Board Member Cris Barcena also said, “Kapag nadelay yan without legal basis at nakapag create ito ng financial damage sa mga empleyado natin eh tignan natin yung puwedeng legal step natin diyan,” Barcena said.
Vargas then urged Governor Manuel Mamba to sign the said employees’ ARO so that they can already get their salaries. “Para makapagtrabaho naman po ng maigi at mapag-aralan po natin ng mabuti po yung budget proposal po nila as well as other legislative work, sana naman po mapirmahan na po yung ARO,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mamba-ally Board Member Rodrigo De Asis said he will “follow up” this issue at the Office of the Governor.
In an interview with Bombo Radyo, Mamba belied SP’s claims, saying that he has never held salaries of JOs and casuals. Northernforum.net