The Iloilo City Government’s proposed belt-tightening actions amidst economic impacts of CoronaVirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic will affect job hires and the next tranche of salary increase for regular employees.
The Local Finance Committee (LFC) came up with the recommendations to Mayor Jerry P. Treñas after meeting to discuss the repercussions of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on the P2.7-billion budget for 2020.
The LFC is chaired by City Treasurer Jinny Hermano while the members are City Budget Officer Ninda Atinado, City Accountant Michelle Lopez and City Planning and Development Coordinator Jose Roni Peñalosa.
The move aims to save some P166 million “in anticipation of uncertain times and to respond to urgent needs of Ilonggos amid the pandemic,” according to a statement from City Hall.
Among the recommendations of the LFC is to reduce the services of job hires and contract personnel, who are paid on a daily rate basis, to a maximum of 16 days per month effective May 2020.
The move will not only limit expenses to allowable level but will also promote social distancing on the workplace, the committee added.
The LFC also suggested suspension of implementation of salary adjustment under Salary Standardization Law (SSL 5).
It also called for deferment of grant of additional allowances to national government officials and employees considering that the same is dependent upon availability of funds.
Likewise, LFC proposed for deferment of filling up of vacancies in plantilla to generate Personnel Services (PS) savings subject to mayor’s discretion.
The LFC further suggested the adoption of compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay for those rendering overtime services in all offices.
LFC noted that the recommendations are in line with Department of Budget and Management (DBM) National Budget Circular No. 580 dated April 22, 2020 regarding adoption of economy measures in government due to emergency health situation.
These are also subject however to modification/reevaluation depending on severity of effect of COVID-19 crisis to financial standing of city.
LFC manifested concerns including expected shortfall in city’s revenue collections, depletion of Quick Response Fund (QRF), and sustenance of programs and projects.
They proposed recommendations for adoption of economy measures for Mayor Jerry Treñas’s consideration:
Discontinuance or deferment of the following:
a.) All Capital Outlays except for the purchase of ambulances and other motor vehicles required by military and uniformed personnel for direct services;
b.) Start-up construction of government buildings as well as repairs or renovation works subject to mayor’s discretion;
c.) All foreign and local travels unless those taken at no cost to government or are essential or necessary;
d.) Conduct of celebrations and cultural or sports activities not related to core function of city including athletic competitions;
e.) Services of consultants and technical assistants; and
f.) Cost of trainings, seminars and workshops.
The LFC recommended the observance of austerity measures in consumption of fuel, water and electricity expenses. (With a report from Iloilo City PIO)