Andaya: Diokno orders release of LGUs, GOCCs workers’ pay hike
MANILA, Philippines—Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has issued two Department of Budget and Management (DBM) circulars asking Local Government Units (LGUs) and Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) to release the fourth tranche of the wage hike to their employees under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya announced this on Friday in a statement, saying that Diokno finally “come to his senses.”
“Now, he realizes what he has to do to implement the law granting salary increases to civil servants even under a reenacted budget,” Andaya said.
The DBM Circulars— Local Budget Circular No. 118 and Corporate Budget Circular No. 23— were both signed by Diokno last Tuesday and both took effect on Jan. 1, Andaya said.
The Camarines Sur representative claimed that the circulars “only mean that what we are saying is true all along” that the DBM can order the release of the pay hike even under a reenacted budget.
Andaya has insisted that the release of funds for state workers’ wage increase could be possible ahead of the approval of this year’s expenditure plan.
Diokno, however, argued that the salary level authorized in the 2018 budget only covers the third tranche of SSL and not the 4th. He also said that the DBM will implement retroactively the 4th tranche once the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is signed, which is expected by the first week of February.
Andaya then asked Diokno to allow the release of funds for the salary increase of workers in other government offices aside from LGUs and GOCCs.
“Kung gusto ni Sec. Diokno, puwede pala niyang ipa-release ang salary increase under SSL IV. Nagawa na niya ito ngayon sa LGUs at GOCC. Bakit di niya magawa sa iba pang offices?,” he said.
“We have been telling Sec. Diokno all along. There is no basis for the delay in the release and disbursement of funds as there are available alternative sources of funds for the fourth tranche of personnel benefits,” he added.
Andaya also said that the recent DBM circulars will “strengthen” his petition for Mandamus, which he filed before the Supreme Court last week, against Diokno.
“The twin Circulars strengthen our main argument: that Sec. Diokno has the legal basis and authority to release the salary increase for government workers under a reenacted budget,” he said.
“It is time for Sec. Diokno to come clean on this issue. He should stop lying to the President and to the Filipino people,” he added. /muf
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