MANILA, Philippines?Suddenly, the coming holiday is looking much brighter for state workers.
The government is giving a P10,000 productivity bonus to its employees, including contractual and casual workers, over and above the regular Christmas bonus in a move meant to spur spending and minimize the effects of the global financial crisis.
Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya on Thursday announced the ?extra Christmas bonus? to a group of government employees.
?I have been authorized by the President to end all water cooler chismis (gossip), lunchtime talk, powder room chitchat, evening novenas on what will be this year?s yearend productivity bonus,? Andaya told the national assembly of the Philippine Government Employees? Association (PGEA).
?You can now tell your inaanaks (godchildren) and neighborhood creditors that it could be up to P10,000,? he said.
Of the amount, P7,000 would come from the national government with the rest sourced from agency savings, according to Andaya.
There are more than one million government employees.
?I have been told that practically all national government agencies have a reservoir of savings they can dip into so the P10,000 is more or less assured,? Andaya told the PGEA members.
He said those eligible for the bonus were permanent and temporary employees, including contractual and casual ones, who have been in the service at least four months and who are paid from their respective departments? personnel services budget.
Andaya also announced some more good news: The government is on track to implement salary increases for its employees in the next four years beginning July next year.
?Our congressional monitors have told us the 2009 national budget which contains funding for the initial year implementation of SSL 3 has safely docked in the Senate to warm reception,? he said.
He was referring to the Salary Standardization Law 3, or Joint Resolution No. 24, which modifies the salary rate for government employees.
Andaya said he expected the Senate to ratify the P20-billion SSL 3 budget, but acknowledged there were concerns about Congress passing the SSL 3 by July next year.