EMPLOYEES of the Barili Municipality will remain unpaid until Vice Mayor Julito Flores is formally appointed acting mayor in the absence of Mayor Marlon Garcia.
That was what Flores said on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
Garcia has been sidelined after he tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) earlier this month.
Flores said municipal employees have not received their salaries in a month since the mayor was unable to sign the payroll.
He said the mayor is already out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but he is still in the hospital.
“It has been two or three days since he was discharged from the ICU because he had to be intubated,” Flores said in Cebuano.
The vice mayor said 139 permanent employees and 320 casuals and job order personnel have been affected.
According to Jhoaden Lucero, director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cebu Province, the law allows the vice mayor to assume the position of mayor if the mayor is not around.
“If the local chief executive is indisposed or incapacitated to perform his duties, then that is akin to a permanent vacancy. The law says a DILG recommendation is not necessary in that situation,” he said in Cebuano. “The acting mayor can perform the duties of the local chief executive except the hiring and firing of personnel.”
Flores said he asked the DILG office in the town regarding the situation, but he said the latter did not know what to do.
“Our operations have been hampered. Our employees didn’t receive their pay on the 15th. Many have complained to me, but my hands are tied since I don’t know what to do, considering this is an unprecedented situation,” Flores said in Cebuano. “I won’t automatically assume the role of mayor and start signing stuff without a formal appointment.”
However, the vice mayor said he is ready to assume the responsibility to prevent more delays in the release of the employees’ salaries and other municipal transactions.
He said he is waiting for the Municipal Council to convene a special session that will authorize him to sign documents, including the payroll, on behalf of the mayor.
Superbalita Cebu tried to contact Garcia, to no avail. (ANV / PJB)