Ex-budget officer asks for pay release

FORMER Cebu Provincial budget officer Danilo Rodas has not received his salary since August 2019, prompting him to seek help from the Provincial Board (PB).

In a letter to the PB dated Oct. 21, 2019, Rodas asked the Board to correct what he claimed was a “defect of misrepresentation” of the Capitol’s personnel schedule.

“I humbly pray and request to this august Sangguniang Panlalawigan, that in the exercise of their mandated power to review and authorize the said 2020 proposed budget, and in accordance with the rule of law, to correct this defect of misrepresentation of the said personnel schedule, thru a statement in the soon to be enacted appropriation ordinance that such legislative action carries with it the manifestation that Danilo Rodas is considered listed in the personnel schedule under the Provincial Budget Office,” wrote Rodas.

Rodas’ letter was in relation to Capitol’s proposed P12 billion annual budget for 2020.

One of the documents needed for the proposed budget was the personnel schedule, which listed the incumbent employees of the Provincial Government.

Although his plantilla is assistant budget officer, Rodas said his name was excluded from the personnel schedule.

During the hearing for the proposed 2020 annual budget Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III said the non-inclusion of Rodas in the list of Capitol permanent employees was “unfair,” adding that the latter had been reporting to the Provincial Budget Office every day.

“If there was a case, perhaps dismissing or terminating the services of Mr. Rodas, maybe that is a sufficient justification on why he should be excluded,” Davide said in Cebuano.

Budget Officer Emme Gingoyon and another Capitol official were earlier dismissed by the Ombudsman for their role in a procurement that led to the construction of the controversial Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). They had appealed the decision.

While this was pending, Davide, who was then governor, appointed Rodas as provincial budget officer.

In 2016, Rodas issued an undertaking that once Gingoyon is reinstated, he will resume his post as assistant budget officer.

The Court of Appeals later modified the Ombudsman decision, finding the dismissed employees guilty but only of simple misconduct and punishing them with three months suspension without pay instead of dismissal.

In January 2019, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who was still 3rd district congresswoman at that time, filed criminal and administrative charges against Davide and five others before the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged illegal appointment of Rodas and another official.

The matter is still pending before the anti-graft office.

On July 5, 2019, Garcia issued Administrative Order 1-2019, which granted Gingoyon’s request for reconsideration, reinstatement and payment of back wages and other economic and monetary benefits.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Human Resource and Management Office is expecting a resolution on Rodas’ employment status from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) within this week.

Provincial Administrator Noli Valencia said the plantilla as assistant budget officer remains funded, but they have to wait for the CSC resolution since the position had been vacant when Rodas was promoted to budget officer.

He added that there was also no appointment issued to Rodas since his employment status was referred to the CSC following Gingoyon’s reinstatement.

“We have no basis to include him in the personnel schedule. He did sign an undertaking that he will step down once Gingoyon is reinstated, and that is why we’re in a quandary. That’s why we sought the CSC,” Valencia said. (RTF)