BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Unlike at the Bacolod City Hall where an estimated 3,000 job order workers may lose their jobs by the end of the year, there will be no reduction of Contract of Service (COS) and Job Order (JO) workers employed by the provincial government of Negros Occidental, amid the reduction of its National Tax Allotment (NTA) by more than P760 million in 2023.
Should there be any, it is because of their performance, and not budget constraints, said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has about 1,600 employees classified as JO, casuals and Contract of Service (COS).
The provincial government’s executive branch is proposing a P5.1 billion budget for 2023, including the general fund budget of P4,952,981,428 and a P190,379,525.15 budget for its Economic Enterprise Development Department, a reduction of 12.87 percent compared to its 2022 budget.
Lacson said that projects under Abanse Negrense will be given priority in the proposed P5.1 billion budget, including agriculture, health and scholarships, among others.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he reported that they have earmarked a P40 million budget for it, which is lesser compared to the 2022 budget.
The city government of Bacolod is facing a budget cut of P302 million, also due to the reduction of its NTA.
To compensate for the budget cut, Benitez said he will reduce the number of Job Order workers from more than 6,000 this year to 2,700 next year.
This will enable the city government to reduce JO salaries to P300 million in 2023, from the P625 million earmarked by the previous administration, the mayor pointed out.*