BI workers thank Duterte for pay augmentation

Published July 16, 2018, 4:56 PM

by AJ Siytangco

 

By Jun Ramirez 

Officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for ordering the release of their augmentation pay which the latter promised to give them early this year to increase their meager salaries.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said: “the men and women of the bureau are very grateful to the President and we pledge to reciprocate his support by doing our jobs more diligently and conscientiously.”

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

Morente said the release of the augmentation pay will surely boost the morale of BI employees whose take-home pay was significantly cut since last year when they were stopped from drawing their overtime pay from the bureau’s express lane collections.

To address the plight of the BI workers, Malacañang ordered in January the establishment of a trust fund out of the bureau’s express lane collections that will be used to augment the employees’ take-home pay.

Last week, a memorandum order from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was issued providing the guidelines for the release of the augmentation pay.

The order noted that the basic salaries of BI workers “has remained extremely low in spite of the nature of their work, thereby leading to large number of resignations and causing prejudice to the efficient delivery of frontline services.”

It said the Congress has yet to pass a new immigration act that will update the BI’s compensation system, thus the need for an interim measure that will augment the employees’ pay “in recognition of the indispensability of their functions, the apparent disparity between the basic pay of BI employees and employees of other agencies performing comparable functions, and to promote the continuous and unhampered delivery of basic government services.

At present, the average take-home pay of an immigration officer is only P16,000 a month, working for 9 hours and on duty even during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

BI Deputy Commissioner Marc Red Mariñas, who heads the bureau’s port operations division, said the release of the augmentation pay will make the BI more competitive in hiring more personnel to its fold.

Deputy Commissioner J. Tobias Javier concurred, adding that BI needs to employ more immigration officers to man the different international ports nationwide, thus the release of the augmentation pay will enable the Bureau to attract more qualified and competent applicants to its workforce.

The agency now has only 1,871 organic personnel deployed in different offices nationwide.

 
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