Cebu News

Mayor to cut City Hall workforce in 6 months

Shaina Fame Marie P. Mabatid - Philstar.com

CEBU, Philippines — Within the next six months, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will target to “substantially reduce human force” at the City Hall in response to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s directive for local government units nationwide to be “rightsized.”

The mayor emphasized the necessity for the various departments to function as a "little City Hall" in order for them to all work together to achieve the administration's aim of making a “Singapore-like Cebu City.”

“After six months, we will have substantially reduced human resource. There will be a no-nonsense rightsizing program,” Rama said.

The result, he added, would be a reduction in the number of employees while increasing the effectiveness of the tasks and responsibilities performed by the workers who remain.

Rama said that he has assigned Attorney Josephus Jimenez, labor law expert, to collaborate with the Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO) on the matter.

In a recent event attended by the heads of City Hall departments and offices, the mayor also asked them to implement sound fiscal management in their various offices.

He also encouraged them to explore initiatives to improve the city's earnings in order to fund their budget plans for the implementation of projects that will benefit the people.

During the budget discussion, City Accountant Jerome Ornopia stated that the city's collections had been declining over the last three years.

The city's gross collection in 2019 was estimated to be around P7.7 billion. In 2020, this was reduced to P7.3 billion, and in 2021, it was reduced further to P6.6 billion.

One of the causes, according to Ornopia, is the city's decreased ability to collect company taxes as a result of the CoViD-19 pandemic, which has forced many companies to momentarily stop operations or close down altogether.

City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes, for her part, said that they will propose raising the fees and charges for services provided by the city. She requested individual suggestions from the other department heads so that her office could compile them.

The budget forum is a component of the city's budget planning efforts, which began with Rama's release of a budget call.

Each department and agency will create and submit its own budget recommendations following the forum.

It will be followed by a simulated budget hearing with the Local Finance Committee, the development of the Local Expenditure Program, and the delivery of the mayor's Budget Message.

The next stage will be to submit the proposed executive budget for 2023 to the Sangguniang Panlungsod not later than October 16. —JMD (FREEMAN)


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