Sotto says 1 month delay in release of pay hike for gov’t workers is OK
MANILA, Philippines — It probably would not hurt much if the scheduled pay hike of government workers this year would be delayed for a month, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Thursday.
After all, Sotto expects Congress to pass and ratify the 2019 national budget by January 27.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the fourth pay hike tranche for workers will not be released unless the 2019 budget gets approved.
“One month lang naman yung delay kung tutuusin because we are assuring them that as far as the Senate is concerned, hopefully by next week when we resume we will be able to pass it on third reading,” Sotto said in a press conference at the Senate.
The House of Representatives has already approved the national budget but it remains pending in the Senate.
The House approval of the budget was reportedly stalled allegedly due to last minute “insertions” by some lawmakers.
Despite the delay, Sotto remains hopeful that the budget would be ratified by both the Senate and the House by January 27.
Once ratified by both chambers, the budget bill will then be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.
“So yung delay na one month na yan, hindi na siguro masyadong makakasakit dun sa sinasabi mo,” the Senate leader said.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson urged Diokno to release the scheduled pay hike, assuring that it will not violate the Constitution.
“Mr. DBM Secretary, implement the salary increase now,” Lacson said in a Twitter post.
“It is not unconstitutional. It has basis in law and there is P99.446 B under the MPBF (Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund) in the 2018 budget,” he added. /muf
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