Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1,500 Butuan city hall workers jobless by Jan 1

BUTUAN CITY — A total of 1,500 city hall workers, particularly those working on job-order basis, will be out of work starting January 1, according to a local government memorandum issued late last week.

On December 23, the Butuan City government issued a memorandum stating that all city hall job-order contracts will end by January 31, 2011. 

Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr.’s memorandum said there is no need for workers hired through job orders to report to work on the first day of 2011, unless they are re-hired. 

“Actually Mayor Amante merely extended their work up to December 31 this year for humanitarian reasons. Majority [of affected workers], who were hired by the previous administration, have expired contracts. Some have ended their job orders last October this year while some as early as September," Butuan City Vice Mayor Lawrence Fortun told GMANEWS.TV. 

Fortun admitted that some affected workers viewed the move as politically motivated because those who will be terminated were hired by the previous administration. 

The vice mayor also cited cost-cutting measures, such as streamlining of manpower requirements at the City Hall, as among the reasons for the issuance of the memorandum. 

Should the city hall need to rehire terminated workers, performance evaluation and availability of funds would be of utmost consideration, Fortun added.

“Frankly, as part of our streamlining, we only intend to re-hire 700 job orders that are very much needed and relevant to our daily operations," he said.

Meanwhile, opposition groups, including the 1,500 worker, slammed the move as “political vendetta."

They said the cost-cutting measure being the reason for the termination of workers is unacceptable. “Why would they hire people to work for Butuan City Hall from Agusan del Norte province, a known bailiwick of the Amantes? Clearly, the Amante and Fortun move was political", opposition leaders told GMANews.TV.

Also, they claimed that the current Butuan City Council membership, together with a number of barangay captains, is dominated by the Amante group, they added. — Ben Serrano/LBG, GMANews.TV

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