Cebu News

Four City Hall workers ‘unpaid for 10 months’

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
Four City Hall workers �unpaid for 10 months�
They said the City did not give them their due salaries despite a favorable decision by the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-7 on their appeal over their reassignment.
Chendrina Rosaroso Ebuna

CEBU, Philippines — Four regular employees yesterday came forward and held a press conference to bring to the media’s attention that the Cebu City Government allegedly did not pay them their salary for the past 10 months.

They said the City did not give them their due salaries despite a favorable decision by the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-7 on their appeal over their reassignment.

Sybil Ann Ybañez, one of the four, said she was originally a Local Assessor Operations Officer 3 under the Cebu City Assessor when she received her reassignment order on June 1, 2023.

She said she was made a house parent at the Operation Second Chance, the City-managed facility for juvenile delinquents in Brgy. Kalunasan.

On the other hand, she said, City Assessor’s Office colleagues Maria Almicar Diongzon was reassigned to the South Road Properties (SRP); Filomena Atuel, Cebu City Anti-Mendicancy Office; and Chito Dela Cerna, Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources (CCENRO).

Ybañez alleged that she plead to be transferred to the day shift as she was living in neighboring Talisay City and was a lactating mother when she was suddenly reassigned

“Pagkadawat namo sa among reassignment order, we are directed to report to our respective office and we did that, ni-duty mi sa among lainlain nga offices. Pero sa akoa ni try kog hangyo na day job lang ko kay nagpadede pa ko sa akong anak unya di jud mosugot,” she added.

She said that since her request was denied, she and the others sought the advice of the Civil Service Commission Field Talisay City, and were told that they could file an appeal to the reassignment and could then that upon submission could already report back to the City Assessor’s Office.

Ybañez alleged that when they reported back to their mother office, Ybañez said they weren’t provided with necessary equipment, adding that they even had to share the same table.

“Ang worst, dili mi tagaan og trabaho,” she said.

Ybañez said that City Assessor Theresa Rosell allegedly told them that they would be given duties and responsibilities once the ruling of their appeal is released.

Theresa allegedly also said that if Ybañez and the others would file leaves of absence she would not sign them as she has not acknowledged their return to the City Assessor’s Office.

“Gi-drop mi sa payroll ‘nya regular employee mi. Gitangtang mi. Makapangutana man mis among kauban sa Admin Office kung apil ba mi sa sweldo, gi-drop na man mi,” Ybañez said.

She said that on October 2023, the CSC-7 ruled that their reassignment was “invalid”.

On November 3, 2023, the City Assessor’s Office filed a motion for reconsideration that was reportedly denied weeks after. By then, Ybañez and the others were already unpaid for six months.

Despite this, Ybañez said, they continued reporting for work at the City Assessor’s Office.

They said that since they felt they were “picked on”, they spoke with City Administrator Collin Rosell, Theresa’s husband, and were told that their reassignment was allegedly upon the orders of the mayor.

All four of them also claimed that the City mayor told them that he did not know that they were reassigned.

Ybañez said that last March 19, they were issued with a “Designation Order” that thy start reporting to the City Administrator Office.

She said that while they were assured that their salaries would be released, their documents were allegedly left unsigned at the City Assessor’s Office.

“Naay note didto ba na okay to process salary but out.  Kana siya note na siya ni Attorney Collin,” she said.

Ybañez it has been 10 months already that they went unpaid and that it has been financially exhausting simply to survive.

“Wala man gyud untay ma-reassign mi sa sakto lang unta sad nga opisina,” Atuel, on the other hand, said.

She said all four of them held technical positions at the City Assessor’s Office and their reassignment were not aligned with their expertise.

Their latest action on the matter was done last February 23, when they they filed criminal and administrative complaints before the ombudsman against Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Attorney Rosell, and Theresa, among others.

The Freeman was able to reach the mayor but he said in a text message that Atty. Rosell should be the one to answer the allegations.

“Good evening. Please contact Atty Collin. He can best answer this, the employees being under him…. I’ll have this looked into,” he said.

Atty. Rosell, on the other hand, said through a text message that he could not yet entertain calls because he was in a meeting. A subsequent message to him went unanswered, as of press time. — (FREEMAN)

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