Distressed at losing City Hall job, employee dies of heart attack

A CASUAL employee of Cebu City Hall has reportedly died of a heart attack after learning that his employment contract would not be renewed by the city government.

Jerry Lauron, 51, a resident of Barangay Bacayan, died on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, a few hours after he was informed that he would no longer have a job on Monday.

His brother, Cambinocot Barangay Captain Reynald Lauron, confirmed to SunStar Cebu Monday, Oct. 3, that Jerry was emotionally affected after hearing about his impending unemployment.

Reynald said that before Jerry suffered from the heart attack, Jerry talked to his wife about how to continue the studies of their children now that he had lost his job.

The father of seven was very concerned as their youngest child was only 11 years old and they had two children in college.

“Mao to, nagpahaplas sa iyang buko-buko kay sakit daw. Paghuman og haplas, nisulod sa iyang kwarto. Wala na nabantayi, pero minutos ra gyud, nagbuwa-buwa na ang baba. Murag gi atake,” said Reynald.

(That was it. He asked that liniment be applied on his upper back because he said he was in pain. After the application, he entered his room. But after only a few minutes, he was already frothing at the mouth. It seems he had a heart attack.)

According to www.arrhythmia.com.sg, the signs of a heart attack include pain in the jaw, throat, left shoulder, inner part of the left arm or central upper abdomen below the rib cage; central chest pain; feeling of indigestion; and frothing at the mouth.

Reynald said he and Jerry both supported the administration of Mayor Michael Rama.

Reynald said his brother was just informed by a co-worker through call or chat that he was not included in the list of employees whose contracts would be renewed.

With the incident, the barangay captain lamented that his political alliance with Rama would be greatly affected.

“Dili na mahitabo nga akoa lang palabyon... Naa na gyud siyay gap. Dili gyud ingon nga pila ka percent imong suporta. Ingon ta nga full support gihapon sa iyaha, wala man, dili na ko,” said Reynald.

(I’m not going to just let this incident pass. There is now a gap. To still give my full support to him? Not anymore.)

Reynald added that he received information that the ones evaluating the performance of the employees are allies of Rama’s opposition, the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) party.

However, Reynald declined to name the alleged BOPK allies.

Overreact

In a separate interview, Rama urged City Hall workers not to overreact to rumors that the contracts of thousands of casual and job order (JO) employees would not be renewed by the city government.

Rama told reporters that he still needs to check the list from the evaluation team who scrutinized the performance of the employees.

“Gauna man gud na sila og conclude... Nag-react na sila og dili mao. Sayop, akoa pa nang tan-awon,” said Rama. (They were wrong to make conclusions and react when I still have to check the list.)

Nearly 2,000 employees

SunStar Cebu reached out to Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover, who said that most of the employees whose contracts were not renewed were followers of Rama.

Alcover added that he received information that the contracts of almost 2,000 employees would not be renewed. But the councilor said this is not the official number since he does not know the full details on the issue.

“Murag ang akoang na obserbahan kay almost 2,000 ang nangataktak. Mao na akong nahibaw-an, pero I do not have the details,” said Alcover.

Alcover said he does not know the exact reason behind the massive non-renewal of employees in City Hall and only Rama can provide the answers.

In recent interviews, the mayor had announced that he aimed to reduce the City Hall’s workforce by half to achieve rightsizing.

Last June 27, Rama did not renew the contracts of 500 casual and JO employees after they failed the evaluation.

In his May 16 memorandum, Rama had said the employees would be evaluated based on the following: “kawatan (thief), tapulan (lazy), hugawan (messy), intregero (intriguer), palaaway (quarrelsome), walay nahibaw-an (ignorant), dili mo bayad og utang (does not pay debts), and mobuko-buko (backstabber).”

The mayor made another threat last July 4 that he would fire 3,000 employees if they did not perform their duties.

Rama assured that he would tap government agencies that can provide employment options to those employees whose contracts would not be renewed.

“I have also (a) program... community livelihood assistance program. That is already a built-in thing nga kung kinsa gyud eventually ang dili ma hire, bisag kawatan, sa tinuoray tagaan nato og chance, pero dili sa City Hall,” said Rama.

(That is already a built-in thing that whoever eventually is not hired, even if it’s a thief, we will give them a chance, but not in City Hall.)

First 100 days

Also on Monday, Mayor Rama presented his first 100 days report, which encompassed his administration’s success in getting investments for new projects and the partial realization of his campaign promises toward transforming Cebu City into another Singapore.

Rama also highlighted the city government’s campaign against flooding, which resulted in the clearing of illegal structures built within the three-meter easement of waterways.

The mayor also renewed his call for unity from opposition members to achieve his dream for the city.

“I am not looking for a BOPK, Kusug (Kugi Uswag Sugbo), Panaghiusa, the Labella group, the Team Rama group, none. I have my marching order. We have a mission, and the mission (is) Singapore-like Cebu City, no political colors,” said Rama.

Achievements

In an audio-visual presentation, Rama presented six remaining items that were included in the 21 gun salute projects made in honor of the late mayor Edgardo Labella.

These are the adoption of the supplemental joint venture agreement for the Carbon Market modernization project, the settlement of the loan used to develop the South Road Properties (SRP), the convening of the first Mobility Summit, and ensuring that the civil works for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit will begin by October 2022.

The launching of public WiFi portals in 50 barangays and the commitment of private investors to build medium-rise buildings for the city’s socialized housing program were also included in the report.

Rama also showcased the beautification efforts of the city on the roads like planting flowering plants and painting center islands.

Investments, 7 bridges

The presentation also showed the developments in the SRP, which include the additional access ramp of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

The plan of the city government and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to construct seven bridges that will connect SRP to the mainland was also included in the report.

The report also showed the construction of a roundabout in the SRP being handled by the DPWH.

The mayor also included the proposal of Manila Water to construct a dam in the city’s hinterlands to achieve an adequate water supply.

Rama also said he would sit down with Rep. Rachel del Mar (Cebu City, first district) and Rep. Eduardo Rama (Cebu City, second district) to ensure that projects lobbied by their offices would be in line with the direction of the city government.