The past week saw the recognition of loyal city employees and outstanding barangay chairs in Manila, who all deserve to be publicly commended for the help they have been extending to ensure the success of all our programs.
In simple rites at the Manila City Hall’s inner court, 93 received loyalty awards for 30 years in service; for 35 years, 44 awardees; 40 years, 20 awardees and over 40 years, three awardees.
Gladly, there is now an assurance from our part that the retiring employees of the Manila City Hall will definitely be able to get the benefits due them from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
This, as the current local government has already resolved the problem it merely inherited upon assumption into office.
Honestly, I was completely shocked upon learning that the money which the employees worked very hard were taken by some unscrupulous individuals. This is simply unacceptable to me, because I know that these employees dedicated their life to be of service to the public.
Upon assumption in 2019, we learned that the Manila City Hall owed the GSIS. The effect of not being able to properly remit the shares to the GSIS, among others, is heavy on the would-be retirees which is why we worked fast to remedy the situation.
At that point, we thought that finger-pointing would just be totally useless and I thank those who worked on the problem, although it was not of our making and we merely inherited it.
I am very proud to have a city treasurer in the person of Jasmin Talegon, who is always out to protect the interests and benefits of the city employees.
Again, we thank the GSIS which did not only agree to give a discount. It also agreed to make the city government of Manila pay on a staggered basis, with the assurance that those who will retire will be given the benefits due them even while the city is not yet fully paid or as if they are actually fully paid.
When we assumed office in 2019, we discovered that the city government owed the GSIS some P195 million. And then in November last year, a memorandum of agreement was reached between the city government and the GSIS.
In it, Manila was able to save over P68.4 million after the GSIS agreed to reduce the amount of Manila’s debt from P195 to P126 million.
This is the least that we in the city government can do for the employees who deserve to reap the fruits of their labor for 20 or 30 years in government service.
As for the city hall employees who will remain serving, we ask them to continue helping the city government get back to its former glory and excel in their chosen field of undertaking.
I reiterate my constant appeal to the employees for them to give their best in public service so that in the future, they can proudly tell their children or grandchildren that whatever progress the city had achieved, they were once part of it.
Alongside this, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and I also awarded 18 outstanding barangays in the city. This is in recognition of the role they play amid the pandemic.
We highly commend our barangay chairs and leaders for their efforts in the enforcement of pandemic-related measures like curfew, health protocols, lockdowns, distribution of various forms of city government assistance and even the vaccination program.
As I have said over and over again, we in the city government cannot succeed in our programs without the help of the people themselves and the barangays are highly appreciated in this aspect.
In relation to this, I call on the citizens of Manila to continue being responsible and to always abide by the regulations being imposed by their barangays since definitely, these are for their own good.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first! ***
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