Bonus for deserving gov’t workers only, says AbadBy TJ Burgonio |Philippine Daily Inquirer
He may well be the Grinch who stole Christmas for a lot of government employees, but Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Monday had to clarify that only government those workers who rendered exceptional service this year would be entitled to the performance-based bonus (PBB) announced by Malacañang on Friday.
Malacañang’s announcement that the PBB would be released during the Christmas
season in amounts ranging from P5,000 to P35,000 gave the impression that it would
apply to all government employees.
Abad explained the PBB would be based entirely on merit, unlike the 13th-month pay, the yearend cash bonus and the productivity enhance incentive (PEI).
Civil servants are entitled to a 13th-month pay equivalent to their monthly salary, a yearend cash gift of P5,000 and the PEI of P5,000.
“In contrast to the other bonuses, the PBB is certainly not an entitlement,” Abad said, adding that the PBB system “is a decisively merit-based scheme” designed to plug a loophole in the bureaucracy that results in bonuses being distributed arbitrarily.
This time, Abad said, the PBB would ensure that the administration gives bonuses based solely on merit and quality of performance in terms of meeting targets set by a government department.
“The targets are actually measurable and strictly empirical, so that office higher-ups can preserve the objectivity of their assessments,” the budget secretary said.
Under the PBB, units and personnel will be ranked according to their performance “as measured by verifiable, observable, credible and sustainable indicators.”
The amount of the bonus is based on the performance of the departments, bureaus or delivery units, and of the individual employees, Abad said, adding that department secretaries will rank bureaus and delivery units according to their performance.
The PBB funds will be charged against the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund in the General Appropriations Act in the case of departments, bureaus and agencies, including state universities and colleges, and against the corporate funds in the case of GOCCs, Abad said.
“What this ultimately translates to is improved service to Filipinos, not to mention greater morale among public servants and visible, positive reform across the bureaucracy,” he said.