Recto pushes for hike in basic salary of gov’t workers
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday pressed the Duterte administration to immediately initiate the issuance of an executive order increasing the basic salary of all civil servants.
During the Senate plenary deliberations on the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, Recto pointed out that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had already earmarked P31.1 billion for the next tranche of the Salary Standardization Law.
Only P12B spent
Replying to Recto’s query, Sen. Sonny Angara, who was defending the government’s spending program as chair of the Senate finance committee, revealed that only P12 billion had been spent out of the P35 billion allotted for the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF) this year.
Angara said the DBM had set aside P63 billion for MPBF next year.
“If you allot P63 billion for that [next year], that will not be utilized anyway. So we can realign part of that,” Recto said.
“When will you give the next [salary increase for government employees]?” he asked members of the President’s economic team, led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
The Senate leader noted that the previous Aquino administration was able to raise the salaries of civilian government employees through the issuance of an executive order.
“So you can do it now through an executive order. You need not wait for Congress to pass a law since you already appropriated [almost] P32 billion for that. It’s almost Christmas already,” he said.
In a separate statement, Recto said the salary adjustment for state workers was “a promise made to them” after the President approved the increase in the take-home pay of soldiers and policemen.
“It is time to redeem this promissory note,” he said.
“After the uniformed services had their salary increases two years ago, [the] government is duty-bound to extend the same to civilian government employees,” Recto said.
“I can only surmise that the Palace is having a hard time calibrating the increases and apportioning how much each one would get,” he said.
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