Saturday, 12 April 2008

10% pay hike for gov’t workers

In time for Labor Day celebration on May 1 10% gov’t pay hike to take effect July 1
By GENALYN D. KABILING
The Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/MAIN20080412121674.html

President Arroyo will issue on or before Labor Day, May 1, an executive order granting a 10 percent increase in the basic pay of national government employees starting July 1, Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday.

The secretary said the President has directed him to hasten the crafting of the EO, which will include the scope and dimensions of the pay hike for soldiers, policemen, teachers, and other government workers.

"The EO will be ready for signing before Labor Day on May 1. Our instruction is to rush it," Andaya said.

The budget secretary said the government will spend some P12.05 billion for the wage adjustment of government employees from July to December. "A full year requirement, which will be factored in the 2009 budget, will be around P24 billion," he said.

For the first six months, the P12 billion compensation fund will come from the P41-billion allocation for "Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund" in the 2008 national budget.

He said this fund can be used for "any salary adjustment and associated benefits as may be authorized by law or by the President of the Philippines."

Of the P12 billion, Andaya said, P9.2 billion will be allocated for the 10 percent increase in the basic pay of 898,849 national government employees for six months.

A similar increase in the basic pay of an estimated 277,905 soldiers, policemen, firemen, jail guards, and Coast Guard personnel will cost an additional P2.84 billion for the same period, Andaya said.

In 2009, Andaya said the total cost of the three salary increases would reach around P60 billion a year, "which speaks volumes on how this government has treated with concern the welfare of its personnel."

Once the July pay hike takes effect, a Teacher I, which occupies Grade 10 in the 33-grade government pay scale, will get a basic salary of P12,026 to P14,297 a month . A first lieutenant in the Army and his counterpart in the Philippine National Police, an inspector, will see his basic pay rise to P18,343 a month.

The coming pay increase will be the third in 30 months in the public sector. The first PHP1,000 across-the-board grant in "additional allowance" took effect on January, 2006.The "second installment" was a 10 percent increase in the base pay which took effect last July 1, 2006.

President Arroyo had earlier explained that pay increases were part of the "social payback" that was made possible due to her administration’s "sturdy fiscal house, solid program of good governance, and political stability under the rule of law and criminal justice."

Secretary Andaya said he will submit before May 1 a recommendation to President Arroyo on "the scope and dimensions" of the pay hike.

Andaya said his office is now drafting the executive order, similar to the one issued by President Arroyo in March last year which granted a 10 percent increase in the basic salary of civilian employees in the national government, and a P1,200 hike in the monthly subsistence and other allowances of policemen, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel.

"The EO will be ready for signing before Labor Day," Andaya said.

Lagman files bill for 10% increase in gov’t workers’ pay
By Edmer Panesa

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, filed yesterday a bill seeking to grant an average 10-percent increase in the base pay of some 1.1 million government workers starting May this year.

Lagman said he filed House Bill (HB) 3819 entitled "An Act Authorizing Compensation Adjustments to National Government Personnel" to help government employees confront the high costs of prime commodities.

He noted that although the Philippine economy registered a 7.3 percent growth last year, "the continuous upward adjustments in the prices of both food and non-food commodities and volatile oil prices exert pressures on the consuming public even as the looming rice crisis compounds the consumers’ predicament."

HB 3819 proposes a 10 percent pay increase for all government employees, whose positions are covered by the Compensation and Position Classification System under Republic Act 6758.

Also covered by the increase are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, all uniformed personnel under the Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and local government units.

Lagman wants the increase to take effect on May 1 to serve as a Labor Day gift for state workers. He said government workers can no longer wait for the passage of the projected Salary Standardization Law III that would address the distortions and inequities in pay under the current system.

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