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Mayor has 40 consultants, but city plans to hire more

/ 08:45 AM May 15, 2011

The Cebu City Mayor’s office alone has 40 consultants earning P9,000 to P18,000 a month, but the Cebu City government plans to hire more.

In last Wednesday’s session, the City Council approved the hiring of former city administrator Francisco Fernandez as housing consultant for three months with a P9,000 monthly compensation.

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Socorro Atega and Vicente Vosotros will be hired by the city as consultants at the South Reclamation Properties (SRP) with a monthly salary ranging from P15,000 to P18,000.

Their hiring was deferred due to lack of paperwork but their appointment is expected to be approved within the week.

Councilor Noel Velasco, who authored the resolution that hired Atega and Vosotros, said they won’t duplicate the functions of the Cebu Investments Promotion Center (CIPC), the marketing arm of the SRP.

The city gives P3 million aid to the CIPC.

Atega, an architect, will focus on landscaping the SRP while Vosotros will attend to mechanical and environmental concerns in the reclamation project.

The Department of Interior and Local Governments in Central Visayas (DILG-7) said there are no limits to the number of consultants a local government unit (LGU) can hire.

Each of the city councilor is given two consultants; one works under the councilor’s office while the one is under the committee chaired by the councilor.

Regional DILG-7 Director Pedro Noval said consultants can provide technical and other services not found or are complementary to existing services found in LGUs.

“So long as they don’t duplicate the functions of these agencies,” he said.

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He said the City Council should review the appointment thoroughly before hiring consultants.

Mayor Michael Rama said his 40 consultants in Cebu City Hall were hired for the service they can render to his office.

Consultants hold separate office, he said. The city allocates P4 million every year for the appointment and renewal of city consultants.

Two consultants under the mayor’s office were not renewed.

Alonso Nestor, a consultant in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries, and Cerwin Erviota, a development communication training consultant, were no longer renewed since their functions are also performed by other agencies. Correspondent Fatrick Tabada

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