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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 14, 2013
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PACE ‘mourning’
going province wide

BY CARLA GOMEZ

The Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees hung strips of black cloth in front of the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall yesterday to dramatize the provincial government employees’ mourning over the non passage of the province’s 2013 budget.

The PACE on Tuesday declared a period of mourning that they said will last until the provincial government employees receive their salary increases and their P20,000 extra bonus as mandated by law.

PACE president Ruben Diamante said if the budget is not passed after 90 days, the union is considering legal action against the SP.

Meanwhile, we appeal to the SP to hasten the passage of the budget, he said.

Diamante said they plan to hang black cloths and tarpaulins stating the cause of their mourning at the Capitol in Bacolod City, and at all provincial government hospitals throughout the province.

Reacting to the statement of Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. that he, the SP members and the governor are in the same situation as the employees as they, too, have not received their salary increases, Diamante said a comparison cannot be made.

“We are lowly professionals who depend on our salaries to survive, we have no farmlands and businesses like them,” Diamante said.

“We are not in the same footing, they are on the management side, we belong to the rank and file,” Renelo Lastierre, PACE secretary, said.

On Alvarez’s claim he is just the presiding officer and does not vote on the budget, Lastierre pointed out Alvarez is also the leader of his partymates in the Sanggunian so he has some influence over them.

“It is not an excuse that he is just the presiding officer, he has a wide latitude of influence on members of his party,” Lastierre said.

Diamante also again denied their being used by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. for propaganda, he said they were merely fighting for the rights of the workers.

“We are not entering their political war, we have become collateral damage,” he said.

Lastierre said they will serve whoever wins in the May polls, their move has nothing to do with politics.*CPG

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