By downgrading deparments to divisions: Capitol eyes to save P186 million yearly
CEBU, Philippines — With the plan to downgrade four departments and reorganize them as divisions under the Office of the Governor, the Capitol is expecting to save at least P186 million in the provincial budget annually.
The Provincial Tourism Office, the Cebu Provincial Investment and Promotions Office, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, and the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office will be downgraded into divisions.
Under the present setup, each of the four departments is receiving P27,058,000 a month, or P324,696,000 million in a year, for their monthly budgets and the salary of their employees.
Garcia said in a press conference that these four departments will soon become divisions because it is not necessary to have them remain as full departments.
“We are spending a lot of money on unnecessary departments,” she said.
“If we downgrade these to divisions we will be now only spending P11,543,000 in a month and monthly saving P15,515,000, in one year that is P186,000,000,” she added.
Garcia said that the four departments can function just effectively as divisions under the office of the governor.
“It entails a huge expense when we could just make it into an office under the Office of the Governor as what some of these departments were until these were created by an ordinance. There is no law that requires that these offices should become departments,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s legal team promised that after the four departments are reorganized as divisions they will be selecting a limited number of employees to work in the said divisions, those who will not be selected are expected to receive the equal amount in separation benefits.
Under Republic Act No. 6656 An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization, employees who will be removed from their posts shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to one month of his or her basic salary multiplied by the number of years he has rendered. The separation pay should be payable within 90 days.
The said four departments were made through ordinances under the administration of former governor, now Vice Governor Hilario Davide III.
Seventh district Provincial Board Member Christopher Baricuatro, also the PB’s majority floor leader, said they will have to pass legislation to amend the ordinances that provided for the creation of the said departments.
Meanwhile, Davide said that if the direction of the governor is to downsize these four departments, he is amenable to amending the ordinance.
“I respect her decision, i-amend lang nila ang ordinance,” he said.
“Importante para nako ma-retain ni ug mag pabilin ni kaning mga departments,” he added. — Bonen A. Clarin (FREEMAN)