Parañaque Mayor Olivarez to go after ‘ghost employees’

The Parañaque city government will conduct a thorough review of personnel records to weed out “ghost employees” who have been eating a huge portion of the city’s budget.

Mayor Eric Olivarez ordered on Sunday, Jan 29, the review after noticing discrepancies in the number of personnel being reported by the Human Resource Management Office and different departments, as well as in the records of the City Budget Office.

Olivarez said the personnel review will be conducted by a committee to be headed by the city administrator, Atty. Voltaire dela Cruz.

“We suspect that this racket has probably been going on for a long time, perhaps decades,” said Olivarez.

The mayor said he became suspicious because when he assumed office, he was told that there are more than 8,000 city hall employees.

The number was later reduced to around 7,600, but no final number has been submitted to him up to now.

Olivarez said he became curious after all the department heads were ordered to submit the list of their employees who are physically working.

The city government then observed a noticeable increase in the number of supposed employees who have voluntary dropped from the rolls.

The mayor added that when he assumed the post only last July, after serving as congressman for nine years and, before that, as city councilor, he ordered all workers to remain in their posts, and that no rank-and-file employees were terminated as a show of goodwill and to establish a healthy working relationship.

This year, however, he decided to order all offices and departments to submit their personnel list to reduce redundancies and trim bureaucratic fat so that more resources can be allocated to other programs and services that will directly benefit the constituents.

“It turns out that we found a lot of discrepancies, so we decided to find out the truth because this is our responsibility to our people,” he said.

“It is our duty to protect our financial resources because these belong to our people,” he added.