Parañaque City Mayor Eric L. Olivarez on Sunday said his administration will conduct a thorough review of the city government’s personnel records to weed out suspected “ghost” employees who have been eating a huge portion of the city’s budget.
The mayor said he ordered the review after noticing discrepancies in the number of personnel being reported by the Human Resource Management Office and the different departments, as well as records from the City Budget Office, among others.
“We suspect that this racket has probably been going on for a long time, perhaps decades,” said Mayor Olivarez, who assumed the post only last July after serving nine years as congressman and, before that, as city councilor.
The mayor said he became suspicious because when he assumed office, he was told there are more than 8,000 city hall employees. The number was later reduced to around 7,600, but no final number has been submitted to him up to now.
“We are also curious because after we ordered the departments to submit the list of their employees who are physically working, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of supposed employees who have voluntarily dropped from the rolls,” he added.
The personnel review will be conducted by a select committee to be headed by City Administrator Voltaire dela Cruz.
Mayor Olivarez said that when he became mayor, he ordered all workers to remain in their posts, and that no rank-and-file employees were terminated as a show of goodwill and to establish a healthy working relationship.
Starting this year, however, he decided to order all offices and departments to submit their personnel list to reduce redundancies and trim bureaucratic fat so that more resources can be allocated to other programs and services that will directly benefit constituents.
“It turns out that we found a lot of discrepancies, so we decided to find out the truth because this is our responsibility to our people,” he said. “It is our duty to protect our financial resources because these belong to our people.”