Mandaue council sees issues: Proposed COLA hike for teachers scrapped
(Banat) - October 2, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Mandaue City Council has junked a proposal that seeks to increase the Cost of Living Allowance of teachers in the city.

The proposed measure was denied because the Special Education Fund does not allow the funding of personal services, Councilor Demetrio Cortes Jr. explained.

He said SEF only allows for the funding of maintenance of school buildings, educational materials, and school equipment.

“Na-deny na kay ang rason ni (City Treasurer) lawyer Regal Oliva, dili allowed sa SEF ang personal services. Gi-allow lang sa SEF guidelines ang maintenance sa school buildings, books, equipment,” said Cortes, who chairs the Council Committee on Education.

The proposed resolution, sponsored by Councilors Beethoven Andaya and Emmarie “Lollipop” Ouano-Dizon, is requesting the mayor to increase the COLA of “all teachers in Mandaue City from P700 to P1,000 to P1,200 subject to the availability of funds.”

The proposed resolution stemmed from the letter-request of a group known as Teachers Dignity Coalition, which was dated September 17. The request was addressed to Ouano-Dizon.

“…we would like to appeal to your good office to please lobby to the City Council the increase of the teachers’ COLA to P1,200 per month,” the letter read. The letter was signed by Anabelle Dela Cerna, TDC vice chairperson for Visayas.

But Cortes said the proponents should have endorsed the request to the concerned committees to observe the proper procedure.

“If dili sa Committee on Education, adto sa Committee on Finance because it involves money,” he said.

Cortes pointed out that even if the proposed resolution was approved, it cannot compel Mayor Jonas Cortes to allow for the release of the money intended for the increase of COLA.

The availability of funds will also be considered as the city budget had been divided for different projects.

Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede said an ordinance, not a merely resolution, is needed for proposals involving disbursements of money.

Ouano-Dizon said P1,200 is “too much” for a one-time increase so she advised Dela Cerna to request for a gradual increase.

“I have to be frank with them, niingon lang gyod ko nila nga ang kaning (increase) nga P1,200, i-gradually lang unta. Ako lang ibutang nga P1,000 to P1,200. Mas doable ang P1,000 kaysa P1,200,” she said.

According to Oliva, the proposed increase of COLA should not be coming from the city but from the Department of Education.

“Ang kanang salary sa teachers and other benefits should be provided by the Department of Education. National government na,” he said.

Cortes added that the council wanted the title of the proposed resolution rephrased to increase its chances of being approved. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ANABELLE DELA CERNA BUT CORTES CITY CITY COUNCIL CITY TREASURER COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE COUNCIL COMMITTEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INCREASE MANDAUE OUANO-DIZON
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