WHAT WENT BEFORE: The Salary Standardization Law
Executive Order No. 201, or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in February 2016 after Congress failed to approve the bill that would give government workers the wage increase that the DBM announced in November 2015.
Under the SSL, 1.3 million government employees, except for incumbent elected national officials, would be given four rounds of yearly salary increases starting Jan. 1, 2016.
On the average, the employees received 55 percent of what those in the private sector were getting in hopes that the pay increase would help the government “attract and retain competent and committed civil servants.”
The increase, which would cost a total of P226 billion, raised Salary Grade 1 received by the lowest-paid government employee, from P9,000 to P11,068 monthly by January 2019.
The monthly salary of the next President, Aquino’s successor, was also raised from P120,000 to P388,000 by 2019. So was the hazard pay of all military and uniformed personnel , from P240 to P840 monthly by Jan. 1, 2019.
The Senate-House deadlock over the 2019 general appropriations bill caused a delay in the implementation of the fourth and last increase.
To make possible the release of the overdue salary increase, President Duterte on March 15 issued EO 76, which amended EO 201, or the 2016 SSL, which, in turn, modified the salary schedule and authorized the grant of additional benefits to both civilian and military personnel.