TACLOBAN CITY- More than 400 job order (JO) workers assigned at the different departments and offices of the City Hall, this city, were retrenched with lack of budget cited as reason. Teofila Brosas, head of the human resources department, said that while it was “difficult” on the part of Mayor Cristina Romualdez to dismiss these workers, she had to do it for the greater interest of the city government and ensure that needed basic services intended for the residents will not be affected. “It was a very difficult part for Mayor Romualdez (to dismiss them) considering that they have their respective families to support and we’re still in the recovery period (due to supertyphoon Yolanda) but she has to do it nevertheless,” she said.

Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda, world’s strongest typhoon to hit inland, has resulted for it to suffer financial losses due to closure of business establishments. Thousands of workers lost their jobs in the process.  It was learned from Brosas that considering that the salaries of these JO workers were only taken from its savings, the city government has to do this drastic move. She said that for the months of July to December this year, P34 million is the projected savings of the city government. The amount is just enough to pay 605 job order workers, Brosas added.  JO workers are those hired by the city government for short working period, three months at the maximum though their work contract could be renewed, receives P260 a day, the current daily minimum pay in the region. Brosas, however, said that while they have to retrench these workers, they could still expect to return to work once the local income of the city would improve. “They will be the first priority. The mayor does not like to see them working but without any salary. That would not be fair to them,” she said. Brosas added that some department heads could still continue the services of the JO workers assigned at their respective offices as long as they could fully justify their presence. The retrenchment started this month just after the Mayor Cristina Romualdez assumed, succeeding her husband, Alfred, who finished his nine years in office.