BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Each of the 28,000 families in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, will receive a Christmas gift through the Alay Pamasko program of the city government, disclosed Mayor Javier Miguel “Javi” Benitez, Thursday night.
Benitez, who led the opening of Victorias City 9th Kalamayan Festival, said that P14 million has been allocated for such purpose, with the budget taken from the Mayor’s Office.
Each family will get P500 worth of Christmas gift packs, he added.
While similar activities had been initiated before, where beneficiaries were selected and the budget involved was a smaller amount, this time, the neophyte mayor said “we will be giving to every single family, regardless of status in society.”
Whoever they voted for mayor, vice mayor or councilors in the recent elections, that is not important, Benitez stressed, apparently referring to the gift giving, which will be either house to house, per barangay, or in designated areas.
At the end of the day, the Alay Pamasko shall be two things in my mind “that all will be given and the distribution will be efficient, as organized as much as possible”, the mayor said.
After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Benitez further said “We wanted that all will be happy in this Christmas season,” stressing also that the Alay Pamasko will be done annually.
As to the additional Christmas bonus for the City Hall employees, he said they are still waiting for the guidelines for the issuance of Productivity Enhancement Incentives and Performance Based Bonus. Benitez said the amount for Christmas bonus will be announced on Dec. 19.
As much as they want to give big bonuses for our employees, Benitez said they will have to strictly follow the rules and regulations, noting that the city government received notice of disallowances from Commission on Audit in previous years.
Benitez also increased the salary of job order workers from P395 to P450 per day, which is much bigger compared to other local government units.*