THE salaries and allowances of 17 city councilors of Makati and all personnel under the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) may be delayed because Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña refused to sign the payroll, according to Councilor Marie Alethea Casal-Uy.
“What he did is to abandon his duty and mandate as vice mayor which includes signing the payroll and checks of employees of the councilors, the city council and his own office,” Uy said.
Because of Peña’s refusal to sign checks, Uy said the salary of the councilors and some 83 personnel of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) for the period March 16 to 31 may not be released on time.
Uy said the vice mayor also refused to sign the payroll for the salaries of said officials and personnel covering the period April 1 to April 15, amounting to P620,410.
Peña returned two unsigned checks to the Treasury Department, one for P927,545.20 for the salaries and PERA (Personnel Economic Relief Allowance) of the councilors and staff, and the other for P144,500 as representation allowance of the councilors.
As vice mayor, Peña signs the payroll and checks for the councilors and their staff.
But Peña claimed that he is no longer authorized to sign the checks for the salary of Sangguniang Panlungsod employees because he was sworn in as acting mayor of the city.
He suggested that the city council appoint a presiding officer who will transact with the bank regarding the release of their salary.
But Uy asked Peña to consider the welfare of the employees.
“Why is he doing this when he has been saying he will not hamper the release of salaries to City Hall employees?” she said.
Some SP personnel expressed their dismay over the indefinite delay of their salaries, pointing out that they need money because of the upcoming long Lenten break.
“We are saddened that even our families are suffering because of the situation at City Hall. This is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, especially for parents like me whose children are about to graduate,” said Mila Pilar, one of the affected employees.
Meanwhile, some 8,000 city employees received their salaries on Wednesday after Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay signed the vouchers.
Binay has also signed the vouchers for salaries this April.