By MAE SINGUAY
BACOLOD City — Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya believes the city mayor should not have any inhibition in implementing City Ordinance 08-13-654.
“I’m pretty sure Mayor Monico Puentevella will not be charged before the Office of the Ombudsman,” said Gasataya.
The ordinance created 30 positions in the Office of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP). SP staffers believe the ordinance will not only upgrade their status but also improve their financial status.
Puentevella earlier said he did not enforce the ordinance as he feared he may violate Civil Service Commission rules, citing a letter from Erman Aguirre, the city government’s human resource management officer.
On the contrary, Gasataya said, it was Aguirre who told him during a meeting with the City Budget Office and some technical assistants in July last year that there is nothing wrong with the ordinance.
The ordinance was approved about two months later, on Sept. 25.
“I don’t see any legal implication,” he stressed.
“The city government should appropriate funds to implement the ordinance,” said Gasataya. “[Puentevella] must request for the funds.”
The ordinance created 30 positions in the SP staff: local legislative Staff Officer I, Salary Grade 11/Step 1 and 15 positions of local legislative Staff Officer II, Salary Grade 13/Step 1.
Gasataya said the salaries of the legislative staff have not been increased for several years, but the ordinance could upgrade them.
The ordinance, however, does not mean promotions, the vice mayor clarified.
Forty-five local legislative staffers are working in the offices of the city councilors and the vice mayor, according to Gasataya.
“If the mayor implements the ordinance, all 45 staffer shall resign and apply for the new positions,” the SP presiding officer said.
Protesting Puentevella’s inaction on the ordinance, the legislative staff last week started wearing black shirts and black arm bands.
During an SP session Wednesday last week, the legislative staff led by its president, Henry Cobrado, lamented that they sent four letters to the City Mayor’s Office regarding the ordinance, but nothing happened./PN