DBM’s remedy to delayed pay hike

Published March 15, 2019, 7:45 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Chino Leyco

Amid the current political impasse among lawmakers over the national budget, the Duterte administration assured that it has a contingency measure to finally release the delayed salary adjustments for state workers that were affected by Congress’ failure to pass the government’s spending appropriations on time.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Friday it has already recommended to President Duterte to amend Executive Order (EO) No. 201 that mandates only with the approved appropriations can the national government implement the salary adjustments.

“This amendment will authorize government agencies to utilize available appropriations under the re-enacted budget in the meantime to meet the funding requirements of the salary adjustments, subject to existing budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations,” the DBM said in a statement.

“With this measure, the long overdue compensation hike that our public servants have been looking forward to can finally be granted,” the department added.

But still, the DBM renewed its appeal to the lawmakers to pass the 2019 national budget as soon as possible to end the country’s fiscal uncertainty and deliver the infrastructure projects and social services that the Filipino people are counting on.

The implementation of the fourth tranche of salary adjustments this year would be sourced from the 2019 national budget if it was passed before December last year.

Former Budget Secretary now Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, Benjamin E. Diokno earlier said they have no legal basis to implement the scheduled wage increase without the approved 2019 general appropriations act (GAA).

According to Diokno, the law enacting budget appropriations is the only legal basis they need to implement the fourth tranche of salary adjustments for state workers.

“The DBM cannot implement the scheduled hike or 2019 without legal basis, which is still pending in Congress,” Diokno told reporters.

Even the President has no legal authority to give the pay hike without the 2019 GAA, Diokno added.