No cuts in job order workers at Capitol despite NTA dip

Negros Occidental Vice GovernorJeffrey Ferrer (right) receives from Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz the proposed 2023 budget of the provincial government for deliberation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The provincial government of Negros Occidental will not reduce the number of Contract of Service (COS) and Job Order (JO) workers despite the reduction of its National Tax Allotment (NTA) by more than P760 million in 2023.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that “should there be any, it is because of their performance, and not budget constraints.”

The provincial government has about 1,600 employees classified as JO, casuals, and Contract of Service (COS).

For the year 2023, the provincial government’s executive branch is proposing a P5.1-billion budget, including the general fund budget of P4,952,981,428 and P190,379,525.15 for its Economic Enterprise Development Department.

Next year’s budget is 12.87 percent less compared to its 2022 budget.

Lacson said that projects under Abanse Negrense will be given priority in the proposed P5.1 billion budget, including agriculture, health and scholarships, among others.

The capitol also earmarked a P40-million budget for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is also lesser compared to the 2022 budget.

Meanwhile, the Bacolod City Hall will reduce the number of job order workers by half in 2023 due to NTA share reduction.

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said that the city’s share will be reduced by P300 million next year.

With this budget cut, the allocation for the Jos, which is P630 million this year, will be reduced by P300 million in 2023.

Benitez said the city government will only hire 2,700 job order workers next year.

Budget allocations of local government units (LGUs) may decline by 14 percent next year due to a drop in taxes collected by revenue agencies.

Under Local Budget Memorandum No. 85, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the national tax allotment (NTA) for LGUs would drop to P820.27 billion next year from P959 billion this year.

Meanwhile, Benitez also said that the city government’s projected budget for 2023 is P3.2 billion.