DBM ‘open’ to endorsing EO for new pay hike for gov’t workers

/ 07:29 PM November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget Management (DBM) expressed openness to endorse an executive order (EO) providing for another round of salary increase for workers in the government service.

During the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget on Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto urged the DBM to implement the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5 through an EO instead of having it pass through Congress.

“Pwedeng gawin na nila (They can already do it), through an EO, wag na hintayin yung Congress, you appropriate the P32 billion already, magpa-Pasko na (It’s almost Christmas),” Recto said.


But Senator Sonny Angara, who was speaking on behalf of the DBM, said the agency would opt to “have Congress appropriate the money.”

“They can do it on their own, theoretically, but they prefer to have Congress appropriate the money,” Angara, who was defending the budget as chair of the Senate finance committee, said.


In response, Recto said: “We prefer that they do it already.”

“They (DBM) already have an idea. They appropriated 32 billion already. And there plan is to do it in 3 years, 3 tranches, 10 percent increase. Isn’t that correct?” he further said.

“All I’m saying is that the executive has one month to do it, para January, tinaas na yung sweldo ng lahat ng empleyado (So that in January, the salary of government employees will increase). Just do it. Why not?” Recto added.

After Recto further pushed for the salary increase for government workers, arguing that it would six months of deliberations should the proposed salary adjustment go through Congress.

“Well, actually now DBM secretary just whispered wants P43 billion budgeted for that,” Angara, who was seated near DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado, said.

Recto then said: “The President already knows what he wants, P43 billion, so issue the EO.”

In response, Angara said that the DBM chief was convinced by Recto’s arguments.


“Secretary Avisado seems open to the idea of doing the EO,” he said.

Avisado earlier said the planned SSL 5 had a P31.1-billion funding in the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget. He said the allocation was included in the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF).

Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the proposed SSL 5 was already filed as a bill in the 18th Congress, unlike the previous SSL which was implemented during the past four years under EO No. 201 that was issued by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2016.

Under that SSL, 1.3 million government employees, except for incumbent elected national officials, would be given four rounds of yearly salary increases starting January 1, 2016.

However, the Senate-House deadlock over the 2019 spending bill caused a delay in the implementation of the fourth and last salary increase.

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