Senate approves state workers’ salary hike on final reading
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday voted to approve on third and final reading the measure providing another round of salary increase for government workers.
Voting 21-0 with one abstention, the upper chamber passed the proposed law that will authorize a pay hike for government workers starting next year.
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon abstained from voting as he prefers an additional across-the-board 5 percent increase from what the bill proposes.
“We voted to abstain because while we believe that the proposed salary increase is not sufficient, we don’t want to stand in the way of the salary increase,” Drilon said in explaining his vote.
“A negative vote would have meant that we are opposing the salary increase which we do not,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 1219 also known as “An Act Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel and Authorizing the Grant of Additional Benefits, and for Other Purposes.”
When a bill is certified as urgent, there is no need to wait for the 3-day period between the second and third readings before it gets passed.
The administration is expecting to implement another round of salary raise for government workers, including public school teachers and state nurses, by January 2020. This proposal is included in the list of priority measures of the Duterte administration for the 18th Congress.
The pay increase would cost the government P33 billion next year.
Under the bill, a salary adjustment will be given in four tranches starting in January 2020 and upon full implementation, basic salaries will increase by a weighted average of 23.24 percent by 2023.
Employees under Salary Grades 10 to 15 would be granted the highest increase ranging from 20 percent to 30 percent while those under SG 23 to 33 would have the lowest increase of 8 percent.