Palace prodded to submit gov’t pay raise bill

Press Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
12 November 2019

With the year about to end, Palace prodded to submit gov’t pay raise bill

Mag-di-Disyembre na, ni anino ng Salary Standardization Law V wala pa. Malamig na simoy ng hangin, wala pa rin ang panukala na nagtataas ng sahod ni titser ang ating naamoy

When will it come out of the Palace kitchen? “Please expedite” is not one marginal note we would like to send them, but a big shout out.

To recall, Malacañang promised to increase the salaries of civil servants through SSL V, the Duterte Edition.

The money for the increases, in the amount of P31.1 billion, has been pre-parked in the 2020 national budget. The money is there, the bill on its use will come later.

And there is nothing wrong with putting the cart before the horse, as it assures government employees that a salary increase is a done deal.

The SSL V would require a separate law. It cannot be a rider in the General Appropriations Act. It also cannot be implemented via an executive order. It can only be authorized by a congressional act.

After the uniformed services had their salary increases two years ago, government is duty-bound to extend the same to civilian government employees.

It was a promise made to them, that after their uniformed counterparts have received theirs, the one for them will follow soon. It is time to redeem this promissory note.

I can only surmise that the Palace is having a hard time calibrating the increases, and apportioning how much each one would get.

And, yes, this is not an easy exercise to pull off, as the government pay scale has 33 grades, with 8 steps each, meaning 258 different pay grades must be attached with new amounts.

The fact is, the pie, when cut, will result in not so big slices. P31.1 billion divided by 1.391 million civilian employees, and divided further by 13 months will result in an average P1,718 monthly increase per employee.

Ito ay sa unang taon na downpayment. Baka naman sa susunod na mga taon – as the SSL V will be paid out in several yearly installments – ay mas malaki na.

Our early Christmas wish is for the Palace to submit the bill soon, so that Congress can debate on it, and bring it to the President’s table for his signature before Christmas Day.(###)

the noblest motive is the greatest good for the greatest number