By Jose Santino Bunachita
PIO Reporter

CEBU CITY (August 5, 2022) – A “substantially reduced human force” for all City Government departments and offices.

Mayor Mike Rama. (PIO/File)

This is the target Mayor Mike Rama wants to pursue within six months in response to the “rightsizing” call of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for local government units (LGUs) nationwide.

The mayor reiterated this in today’s “Budget Forum”, where he highlighted the need for the different departments to become a “little City Hall,” so that each perform and contribute towards his administration’s goal of a Singapore-like Cebu City.

“After six months, we will have a substantially reduced human resource. There will be a no-nonsense rightsizing program,” the mayor told the different department heads via Zoom video conference.

This would involve a decrease in the number of employees and promoting efficiency in the duties and functions of those that remain.

After six months, we will have a substantially reduced human resource. There will be a no-nonsense rightsizing program.

Mayor Mike Rama

Mayor Rama said he tasked Atty. Josephus Jimenez, a labor laws expert, to work with the Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO) on the matter.

During the forum attended by heads of City Hall departments and offices, the mayor also asked them to pledge to bring about a “sound fiscal management” in their respective offices.

He likewise wanted them to pursue programs to increase the city’s revenues to fund their budget proposals for the implementation of projects that will redound to the benefit of the people.

City Accountant Jerome Ornopia shares a report about the city’s collections from 2019-2021 during the budget forum held at the City Hall Social Hall. (PIO/Allan Defensor)

City Accountant Jerome Ornopia reported during the budget forum that the city’s collections have been on a downward trend over the past three years.

In 2019, the city’s gross collection was around P7.7 billion. This went down to P7.3 billion in 2020, and P6.6 billion in 2021.

Ornopia said one of the reasons for this is the decrease in the city’s business tax collections. This was due to the fact that several businesses have retired or closed shop after being adversely affected by the CoViD-19 pandemic.

Mare Vae Reyes. (PIO/File)

For her part, City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes said they will propose an increase in the city’s fees and charges for services. She asked the other department heads to submit their own proposals so her office can collate them.

The budget forum is part of the city’s preparations for its budgeting process, which started with Mayor Rama’s issuance of a budget call.

After today’s forum, each department and office will prepare and submit their respective budget proposals.

It will be followed by a mock budget hearing with the Local Finance Committee, preparation of the Local Expenditure Program, and issuance of a Budget Message from the mayor.

The last step will be the submission of the proposed executive budget for 2023 to the Sangguniang Panlungsod not later than October 16.  #

City Hall department heads join the budget forum held at the City Hall Social Hall earlier this morning. (PIO/Allan Defensor)