LGUs told: Go easy on workers’ bonuses
ILOILO CITY—Local government units (LGUs), especially those in poorer provinces and municipalities, should not grant hefty yearend bonuses to their employees, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
Abad said LGUs should regulate their Productive Enhancement Incentive (PEI), an LGU term for bonuses, to employees based on guidelines set by the Department of Budget and Management.
Several LGUs drew criticism in previous years for granting hefty bonuses of up to P50,000 to each employee like what the Iloilo provincial government did in December 2009.
Last year, the Commission on Audit (COA) disallowed the payment of P102 million in bonuses to Iloilo provincial government employees in 2009.
COA said the Iloilo provincial government had exceeded its budget for personnel services.
“We tell them it doesn’t look good if you’re an LGU and you’re not financially stable and yet you’re paying so much in terms of bonuses,” Abad said at the sidelines of a dialogue with officials of state colleges and universities in Western Visayas on Monday.
He said LGUs should peg bonuses at P10,000, the amount given to each employee of national government agencies and offices.
But Abad said LGUs would have the last say on the amount of bonuses because they enjoy fiscal autonomy.
“We can only advise them but at the end of the day, it’s their call,” he said.
Local government employees receive bonuses on top of the regular 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses that are mandated.