Senators push salary hikes for government workers

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Senators push salary hikes for government workers

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) – September 11, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senators are pushing for a fresh round of salary increases for state workers to help them cope with the rising cost of living and allow the government to attract and retain competent and committed civil servants.

The Senate committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation, chaired by Sen. Bong Revilla, yesterday started deliberating on proposals to enact a fifth Salary Standardization Law (SSLV).

Apart from Revilla, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Sen. Christopher Go also filed similar measures.

Revilla said he is aware of the urgent need to implement “a viable and fair salary increase for all government employees to help augment their source of income and provide a decent living for their families.”

He asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to find funds to implement the increase while stressing that no less than President Duterte sought the salary increases in his State of the Nation Address on July 22.   

Recto said his bill seeks to improve the purchasing power of approximately 1.4 million civil servants that was eroded by inflation.

“This proposal will put more money in government employees’ pockets and increase disposable income, boost consumer spending, and in turn would stimulate the economy and help generate more revenues,” he said.

Recto’s bill proposes that the increases be in three tranches, starting on Jan. 1, 2020, and every Jan. 1 thereafter until 2022.

Go said he intends to provide competitive and equitable pay to attract and retain competent and committed civil servants, while also keeping it affordable and sustainable.

“The proposed salary adjustments will raise the pay of government personnel to a level closer to market rates, while giving priority to the rank-and-file positions in the sub-professional and professional categories, especially the teachers,” Go told the committee.

He said some P31.1 billion has been included under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund in the proposed 2020 budget for the implementation of the first tranche salary increase.