By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer revealed yesterday that Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is trying to find ways to grant the additional bonuses for the employees of the provincial government.
The revelation came after the governor announced earlier this week that there would be no extra bonuses this year due to the realignment of the province’s response to COVID-19.
The Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) has already stated that they will make an appeal to the governor.
According to Ferrer, there would still be a bonus, although the governor is currently establishing if there are any more available funds, as well as ensuring that it would not be disallowed by the Commission on Audit (COA).
COA had disallowed previous bonuses.
In the meantime, Ferrer urged the employees of the provincial government to remain positive.
Meanwhile, in an interview with RMN DYHB-Bacolod, PACE President Renelo Lastierre reiterated his earlier statement saying they understand the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has made on the province.
Lastierre said they are not going after a “big extra bonus,” but more of a reward for the sacrifices the provincial government employees have made this year during the pandemic.
The PACE president will ask for data from the financial book of the province to know if there are ways to get the extra bonus.
He further added the provincial employees are also hoping of receiving their Performance Enhancement Incentive and Collective Negotiation Incentive Bonus which could be taken from Miscellaneous and other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
Last year, capitol employees received an additional bonus of P60,000, aside from the 13th and 14th month benefits, respectively, which are usually being distributed in May and November every year.
Aside from the extra bonus, this year’s planned Capitol Christmas party at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City was scrapped due to the pandemic.
However, Lacson stated he will still allow various departments to hold their respective parties, provided they strictly observe the mandated health protocols, such as physical distancing, wearing of masks and face shields./DGB, WDJ