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City to increase honorarium of garbage collectors

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya (The Freeman) - April 4, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The chairman of the Cebu City Solid Waste Management Board said the executive department of the City Hall is planning to increase or double the honorarium of the garbage drivers and collectors in the city.

Lawyer Jade Ponce, the SWMB head, said the amount of the honorarium of these employees should be “professionalized” considering that they face one of the major problems of the city every day.

“Kanang garbage collection and transport is a regular consistent basic need. Therefore there is a need nga ang kining mga tawo atoang i-professionalize. I-professionalize na like ang suweldo niya i-minimum kung mahimo,” said Ponce.

He said as of now, most of the garbage drivers and collectors receive around P5,000 as their honorarium every month. However, Ponce said he and Mayor Michael Rama wanted to increase their honorarium to P10,000.

“They are the ones who are in the frontline sa pagsulbad sa atong pang-adlaw-adlaw nga problema sa basura. And therefore we should also give back what is right,” said Ponce.

The honorarium increase would be the next move of the city government after the centralization of the garbage collection last month.

The centralization was decided after the city received complaints that the barangay garbage collectors did not have a clear schedule on when they are going to collect garbage, leaving the residents to just leave their garbage on the streets.

Ponce said the purpose of the move was to put them under the direct control and supervision of the city government. But he said this system is only temporary until the garbage problem can be totally solved.

As of now, all garbage collectors from barangays are required to sign in at designated dispatching areas.

“Now, usa sa changes nga buhaton is, if we want to exact discipline on the part sa drivers and collectors, we should also give them the proper benefits,” said Ponce.

He said he could not even term these workers as job-order employees since a JO employee is hired for a particular job or project.

“But in this case, garbage collection is not a project. It’s continuous, regular. You’re doing something as necessary and desirable of the usual business of the employer which is the government. Therefore, dili na dapat JO, kung mahimo man lang gani at least casual (employee),” he said.

Ponce said this will be a long process before they could implement the plan since they still have to deal with different concerned agencies such as the Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Audit.

“But at least ang aim nato diha is to professionalize the service,” he said.

Rama said he came up with the plan to make the garbage collectors and drivers realize that even though they are doing a “dirty” job, they make the city cleaner.

“And of course it is one thing that they deserve. Di man mahimo og you tap them and then you end up using them,” said Rama.

But he said since it is election period, he will not process it yet so that it won’t come out like he was courting the votes of the garbage collectors.  (FREEMAN)

 

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