A life-long bachelor mayor in the Philippines is giving single staff extra pay on Tuesday for Valentine’s Day, to show gratitude for the extra hours they work and show that “someone loves them”.
Lonely hearts at General Luna town hall in Quezon province will receive three times their normal daily wage if they have been single for more than five years, Mayor Matt Florido told AFP.
Other footloose and fancy-free staff will get double pay — or the option to take a paid day off.
“I know what they’re going through today, I feel for them,” said Florido, 42, who says he has been single “since birth”.
“On Valentine’s Day no one will give them chocolates, flowers… so we thought of giving them this kind of incentive so they can also feel someone cares for them, someone loves them.”
It is the third year in a row that Florido has handed out bonus payments to singletons in local government.
Of the 289 town hall employees, 37 qualified for the compensation after passing a stringent vetting process to confirm their claimed single status.
Eligible staff were asked questions about when they were last in a relationship, the reasons they broke up, and why they are still single.
The eldest recipient was 64.
“We are just a small town so everyone knows everyone. You can’t hide anything,” said Florido of the pineapple-growing municipality.
Florido said he would finance the 28,000 peso ($511) handout from his own pocket, adding that the money was also an acknowledgement of the demands placed on single staff to work additional hours when needed.
“They have light responsibilities at home so every time we need them to work overtime, when we have relief operations, or lose sleep to serve the town, we can always count on them,” he said.
Florido said staff already romantically attached did not seem to object to their single colleagues getting extra pay.
“Maybe they understand what the single people are going through,” he said.
The payments will be given to singletons at a Valentine’s Day party for all staff on Tuesday evening.
Activities on the night will include dating games.
“Who knows, they might end up getting together,” Florido said.
“Maybe they are already hitting on each other.”
Ex-US Police Officer Who Killed Black American, George Floyd Stabbed In Prison
Derek Chauvin, the US police officer whose murder of black American George Floyd sparked massive racial justice protests in 2020, was stabbed in prison on Friday, the New York Times reported citing unnamed sources.
Chauvin knelt on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes on a Minneapolis street despite the dying man’s pleas.
Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” were a rallying call for demonstrators domestically and abroad who took to the streets in the killing’s aftermath.
The US Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an assault to AFP without naming the person wounded.
“An incarcerated individual was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Tucson,” in the southwestern state of Arizona, it said in a statement.
“Responding employees initiated life-saving measures for one incarcerated individual,” the statement said, adding that the wounded individual was sent to a local hospital “for further treatment and evaluation.”
Chauvin survived the attack, according to a New York Times source. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in 2021, and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
The incident was caught on video — providing a drastically different version of events than the initial police news release, which simply stated “officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
A Justice Department probe into the Minneapolis police, the findings of which were published in June 2023, said that officers in the department routinely resorted to violent and racist practices, “including unjustified deadly force.”
The city of Minneapolis, in the midwestern state of Minnesota, also settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Floyd family, agreeing to pay his relatives $27 million.
BREAKING: Tinubu To Present 2024 Budget Wednesday, Says N’Assembly
President Bola Tinubu will on Wednesday present the 2024 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.
This was made known by the Secretary, of Research and Information at the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, in the National Assembly on Monday.
He stated this while confirming the budget presentation to journalists and requesting a list of those to be allowed into the chamber.
Ahead of the budget presentation, Tinubu had three weeks ago, forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224 – 2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper where the sum of N26.1tn was proposed as the total expenditure profile for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate through its committee on Finance after two weeks of interactive sessions with heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on revenue and expenditure projections made for them, approved the MTEF.
It specifically, approved the N26.1tn proposed as 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by the President.
It also approved the new borrowings of N7.8tn, pegs benchmark oil price for 2024 at $73.96 and oil production volume per day at 1.78m barrels.
Churches Raise Concern Over Conflicts In Africa
The All Africa Conference of Churches has described the escalating conflicts across the African continent as “a significant ecumenical concern” while resolving to monitor early warning signs of conflict.
This is as AACC also stated its commitment to initiating change by engaging with the African Union to address violent conflicts, combat corruption, advocate youth empowerment, and promote gender equity.
These resolutions were disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday by the President of AACC, Rt. Rev. Arnold Temple, who led discussions at the conference’s general assembly.
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“AACC and member churches must continue to monitor early warning signs of conflicts in Africa. The violent conflicts in Africa are a significant ecumenical concern and a detriment to ‘silencing the guns’ in Africa,” he said.
Temple also emphasised the need to pay attention to the impact of armed conflicts on women and children, particularly the use of women as weapons of war.
Addressing human rights issues, the Assembly highlighted the importance of celebrating successes in the fight against the ills that bedevil Africa, while also agreeing to adopt the anti-gender-based violence campaign, acknowledging the critical issues surrounding GBV in Africa.
“We must continuously pay attention to the needs of marginalised groups of women and give them a voice and safe spaces.”
On migration and trafficking, the AACC and member churches are committed to responding to preventing and caring for survivors of human trafficking.
They also pledged to promote disability studies in theological seminaries and support people with disabilities who wish to pursue self-employment.
Meanwhile, the President of the African World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Rufus Ositelu, advised Nigerians to lead by example in fighting corruption.
“Our message is intended for both Africans and African political leaders. We want this message to deeply resonate and initiate a shift in how parents communicate with their children.”
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