Job hires

The Mabilog administration is pinning its hopes of re-election on a giant political campaign machinery composed of 10,000 job hires (contractual daily wage workers) that is costing the Iloilo City government an estimated P65 million a month in public funds.

The job hires are tucked in so-called “development projects” funded under the city’s 20% Development Fund. The projects ranged from beautification, cleanliness, anti-smoking, anti-jay walking, anti-pornography and many more. On paper, the design to use public funds to hire people for political purposes isn’t apparent. One will have to investigate into the breakdown of the project cost to see that a huge portion — as much as 90% — is allocated for contractual services.

It’s easy to see that the 10,000 job hires do not contribute to development. They hardly perform any public service. Their only reason for existence on the government payroll is an ability to deliver a minimum of 10 votes each. The math is simple: 10,000 x 10 is 100,000 votes. That’s enough to guarantee victory for Mabilog.

In the dialect, people call it “ginisa sa aton kaugalingon nga mantika”. People’s money is being used to perpetuate Jed Patrick Escalante Mabilog in power. Never mind that money that can be used to help the poor is being wasted. For Mabilog, the end justifies the means.

The question arises: Is the expenditure for the payroll of the job hires covered by Resolution No. 9585 of the Commission on Elections? Clearly, the money spent isn’t the MOOE that is needed to run the government. It falls under the category of projects.

This is a shameless abuse by the Mabilog government. It is the highest form of corruption. It is a betrayal of public trust. It would be good for Comelec to address this issue before the campaign period for local elections starts on March 30.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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