During the last Sitting of the House of Representatives Prime Minister John Briceno as the Minister of Finance introduced a *supplementary appropriation bill with one point five million dollars earmarked for public officers. That money is expected to be their Christmas cheer this year and if you do the math, that is one point five million shared among fourteen thousand public officers. That puts about a hundred dollars in each public officers’ pocket. The idea that public officers will get one hundred dollars as a Christmas bonus this year has received mixed reviews. On one side, the government as any other employer is not obligated to issue a Christmas bonus. On the other side, public officers should receive more especially since their salaries were cut this year. And as the debate rages online, Cabinet Minister Orlando Habet says that the government is doing its best. He focused on progress expected to be made for firefighters and their salaries next year. *
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development: “I think the government is trying to do as best possible the little extra monies that they could find to assist the needy during times like now Christmas when it is a time for sharing I think it is good. The public officers will get their $100 to buy their ham or turkey or whatever it is. It is not enough, it doesn’t replace the 10% and we understand that but I think it’s a positive gesture on behalf of the government to do that and I think people really appreciate it.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love News: It is something though. So what do you say to fire fighters who are in the front lines and we know they’re not getting what I think the salary that they deserve ?
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development: “Oh well certainly. We are addressing. We certainly have looked at that. We have already informed Cabinet that for the next fiscal year we’re putting our request to upgrade the fire fighters to where they should be. We want to put in additional firefighters so that it’s not too strenuous on the ones that are there but try to solve the problem that they have had for the past so many years where they don’t get the promotions, they don’t get the increments that they deserve and people are shifted to one end of the country when they are possibly from the other end of the country disrupting the families and everything else. So we’re working on that. It’s a gradual process but I hope that we can resolve most of that in this coming fiscal year.”
Reporter: Sir but you will get a bonus correct ? And your bonus will be bigger ?
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development: “No we’re not getting any bonus. We’re not getting any bonus. We have been discounted 50% of our allowances and 15% of our salary and it remains the same.”
Reporter: So no bonus ?
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development: “No sir.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love News: For CEOs.
Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development: “No that I know of.”