Peña won't sign pay checks of Makati councilors, staff
MANILA, Philippines – Makati city councilors and their employees may not get their salaries on time because of the unresolved issue of who is the mayor and who should sign their pay checks.
On Wednesday, March 25, Councilor Marie Alethea Casal Uy said Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña did not sign the payroll for the 17 city councilors and around 83 personnel of the council.
Uy said Peña declined to sign two checks: one amounting to P927,545.20 for the salaries and Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) of the councilors and staff, and another for P144,500 as representation allowance of the councilors.
The signature of the vice mayor, the presiding officer of the council, is needed for the processing of salaries of councilors and their staff.
Because of his new post, he said, he could no longer discharge the functions of a vice mayor, which includes signing for the city council as its presiding officer.
Binay, however, insisted that he remains the lawful leader of the city because of a court order stopping his suspension.
Now on its second week, the leadership confusion in the country's premier city has caused worry among city hall employees, especially with payday only a few days away.
Uy said that the councilors' salary for April may also be delayed because Peña did not sign the payroll for the period of April 1 to 15.
The confusion in Makati came about after Binay was ordered suspended for 6 months by the Ombudsman over allegations of irregularities in a contract related to the construction of a Makati city building.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government waited for 3 working days before serving the suspension order and swearing in Peña as acting mayor. About two hours later, the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order on the suspension, but the DILG and the Ombudsman refused to acknowledge the TRO.
The appellate court is set to hold hearings on Binay's case on March 30 and 31. – Rappler.com