Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III was accused of negligence on Monday for causing the delay in the payment of the 15th-day salaries of casual employees of the City Council.
The accusation was made by Councilor Jimmy Carbonell in a privilege speech entitled “Ano na ang nangyari, Vice Mayor?” during the City Council’s regular session.
Carbonell said Marcaida failed to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in the payment of the March 15 salaries of the casual employees.
“Nakakalungkot dahil ito ay responsibilidad at moral obligation ng ating vice mayor… na dapat, kahit na maglaan siya [ng oras at] kahit na hindi siya matulog, kinakailangang pirmahan niya ito. [Dapat] bago dumating ang akinse ay matanggap na ng mga casuals ang kanilang sahod. Ano ang rason na hindi ito napirmahan ng ating vice mayor? Paano niya masasagot ito ay wala siya rito. Ayon may ina-aattendan daw na mga panauhin. So ‘yan ang kalunus-lunos na [pangyayari],” said Carbonell.
Carbonell’s claim against Marcaida rooted from the complaint of 72-year old Emma Tabi, a casual employee working in the City Council in the office of Councilor Rolando Amurao.
A video of Tabi making the complaint on March 13 was shown by Carbonell to his colleagues to support his allegation.
He said there is no acceptable excuse for not being able to sign the payrolls of the employees.
In the video, Tabi appealed to Marcaida to sign their payroll because she needed her salary to go to the doctor for a medical checkup
“May sakit ako, ipapa-doktor ko. Marami dito sa Sanggunian ang hindi naka-ano doon ng pirma ni vice-mayor. Cut off ngayon, doon na ang payroll namin dapat magsusuweldo na kami. Vice, sana ang payroll ng Sanggunian pirmahan mo rin para maka-suweldo kami. Maawa ka naman may sakit ako,” said Tabi.
Councilor Henry Gadiano also said signing the payrolls of the casual employees was not the only neglect of Marcaida.
He said important papers and documents are also missing from Marcaida’s office.
Gadiano pointed out that the most recent was last week involving their travel order.
“February 26 po ‘yon na-prepare ‘yong ating travel. Noong March 5 to 8, ito ay nasa vice mayor’s office na. Ang travel natin ay March 13. Natagalan po ‘yan doon sa vice mayor’s office… at noong hinahanap po ng ating secretary kung kumusta na ‘yong papel para po magamit [at] madala na natin ‘yong travel, ang sabi ng kanyang staff ‘yong documents daw ay nawawala,” said Gadiano.
In a separate interview, Marcaida defended he is only “exercising diligence” in signing documents.
“Ayaw ko kasing magkaroon ng problema in the future na baka may mapirmahan tayong maling dokumento, hindi natin na-review ng husto at dalhin sa Ombudsman at magkaroon tayo ng kaso. Nag-iingat tayo ng husto, gusto ko bawat mga papeles na pinipirmahan natin ay na-review natin ng husto,” said Marcaida.
Marcaida also added he was only given two days to review and sign the papers because they were only submitted on March 11 while the cut-off was 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13.
He noted some employees even submitted later than the cut-off time.
Marcaida also denied Gadiano’s claim and said there was no such incident.
“Walang nawawalang dokumento na na-i-submit sa ating opisina. Actually, tinanong ko ang ating chief of staff. ‘Yong papeles na nawawala na kay Kagawad Gadiano ay hindi sa opisina namin nawala. After investigation ay doon po nawala sa Budget Office [at] hindi sa office ng vice mayor,” said Marcaida.
On the other hand, Councilor Peter Maristela said Carbonell should have asked Marcaida regarding the matter personally without bringing it to the plenary.
“Ito ay hindi lamang ngayon nangyari. Nangyari na rin ito kahit ‘yong mga nauna pa, kahit noong si vice mayor Nancy Socrates pa po ang tumatayong vice mayor. Marami ring mga pagkakataong hindi rin nakaka-abot sa cut-off ‘yong ating mga payroll. Ako nga po ay nalulungkot na sana ay mapag-usapan na lang natin ito nang tayo-tayo lang. Nagtataka lamang ako na bakit ito ngayon nagkaroon ng pagkakataon mag-privilege speech si Kagawad Carbonell, although ginagalang ko, sana naman po ang kahilingan ko [ay] imbis na palakihin natin ‘yong bagay na ito, pag-usapan na lang natin ng maayos,” said Maristela.
The issue regarding the salaries of the City Council casual employees was referred to the committee of the whole.