Bukidnon provincial employees to get P60T cash gift

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 December) – Regular and casual employees of the provincial government will receive P60,000 each in cash gift or performance enhancement incentive, Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. announced last week.

Zubiri made the announcement even if the Capitol’s finance committee was yet to present to the provincial board its report on how much funds are available.

Board member Ranulfo Pepito, who chairs the board’s committee on appropriations, told MindaNews the amount will be finalized once the finance committee submits its report, although he said that “job order” employees and other contractual workers will get P30,000 each.

Pepito said budget circulars allow the provincial government to free funds for the incentive if it has enough savings and has paid all its mandatory obligations, among other conditions.

The board is expected to tackle the matter on December 14.

Gov. Alex Calingasan confirmed the plan to grant P60,000 in cash gift to each regular and casual employee, adding it is at least smaller than the P80,000 given last year.

But he could not say if the decrease in the bonus meant an increase in the budget for livelihood.

“We have a lot of livelihood projects this year,” he said via telephone Monday.

In January this year, Calingasan vowed to cut the amount of the cash incentives to be given this month, saying P80,000 is “too big”.

He explained that last year he approved the amount of P80,000 – the amount that regular and casual employees had been receiving during Zubiri’s term as governor – because abruptly reducing it might cause a stir.

The governor said he wanted to reduce the amount to free more funds for livelihood projects and enable more constituents to benefit from the savings of the provincial government.

As early as January he said he might cut the amount of the incentive by half.

The provincial government of Bukidnon released a total of P184.92 million for cash gifts in 2010, reliable sources at the Capitol who asked not to be named said.

All elected and appointive officials, regular and casual employees numbering 2,286 received P80,000 each based on a computation by MindaNews.

Fifty-one “job order” employees got P40,000 each.

The total amount for the incentives last year was even greater than the combined 2011 allocations for the Provincial Indigency Health Project (P17.8 million), Provincial Housing and Resettlement Office (P5.87 million), special education fund (P37 million), including P24.37 million for construction, rehabilitation, repair and completion of school buildings and other structures.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)