ROXAS City – Good news: City hall officials and employees can avail themselves of their long-overdue salary increase starting January next year.
Had there been enough funds, the city could have started giving the pay raise this month, according to Mayor Angel Alan Celino.
However, former Mayor Vicente Bermejo overspent his personal services allocation, resulting in the further depletion of the budget, Celino said.
The mayor foresaw more savings on the part of the city next year due to the streamlining of the city hall workforce, particularly the hiring of at most 700 casuals.
On top of this, city health workers will also be paid their benefits under the Magna Carta for health workers.
But the benefits — which usually cover hazard pay — should be released to the health workers on a staggered basis, Celino explained.
City hall employees brought the issue of non-increase in salary against the previous Roxas City administration.
Some of them withdrew their support to Bermejo when he sought for reelection during the May 10 elections.
Celino said he was pleased with the change of attitude shown by the city workers, particularly in observing punctuality.
Under his battle cry pagbag-o (change), Celino said he has set an example by reporting to his office on time and this, he surmised, could have rubbed on the attitude of city officials and employees.
He would not hesitate giving the benefits due the city employees under his term, so long as funds are available, Celino said./PN
‘Higantes’ to lord over city streets next month
BY GERRY T. PAGHARION
ROXAS City – Giant mascots locally known as higantes will dominate the streets here during the Sinadya sa Halaran on December 3–8.
The higantes will represent different kinds of marine species and will mingle with the crowd during the Sad-sad sa Kalye and Pasundayag sa Kalye (street dancing and street display).
The giant structures were the original feature of the first-ever Sinadya Festival staged in 1988.
However, they were scrapped from the succeeding celebrations due to their depiction of aswangs (witches) and other paranormal creatures that cost the city a negative image.
This time, they were back in the form of marine products to boost this city being the Seafood Capital of the Philippines.
Nine higantes will be featured this year, representing each of the nine clusters.
Special awards will be given to the higantes like the Best in Performance (by cluster), Best Higante and Best in Creativity, among others, according to Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas.
Dadivas is a member of this year’s Sinadya sa Halaran Steering Committee.
The higantes represent the “big strides or leaps” that this city has made towards progress, the organizers of the first Sinadya said.
The Parade of Higantes is among the features of this year’s Sinadya sa Halaran, a fusion of two festivals Sinadya and Halaran.
Sinadya is the merrymaking aspect of the city fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.
On the other hand, Halaran, launched in 1975, is the province’s cultural extravaganza featuring the Capiz province’s rich cultural heritage and recalling the historic purchase of Panay by the Bornean datus./PN