Aquino welcomes release of pay increase for government workers, teachers

Published March 21, 2019, 3:39 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Hannah Torregoza

Re-electionist Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV on Thursday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to finally release the fourth and final tranche of the salary increase for government employees and public school teachers even though the 2019 national budget has not yet been enacted.

Senator Paolo "Bam" Aquino IV (Bam Aquino Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV
(Bam Aquino Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aquino has been calling on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to use the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) to fund the fourth and final part of the salary hike for state workers and public school teachers, as the additional pay will help them cope with the high prices of food and other goods.

The senatorial candidate of the “Otso Diretso” maintained that the 2018 re-enacted budget provides for an MPBF, which can be used to fund authorized personnel and benefit items, including pay increases.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Pangulo sa desisyon niyang ilabas ang huling bahagi ng pinakahihintay na salary increase ng mga manggagawa sa pamahalaan at ating mga guro, (We are thankful to the President for his decision to release the last tranche of the salary increase for state workers and our teachers which they have long been waiting for),” Aquino said in a statement.

“Malaking tulong ang umento sa sahod upang mabawasan ang pasanin ng mga empleyado ng pamahalaan sa mahal na presyo ng bilihin, (This pay hike will greatly help ease the burden of our government workers who have to cope with the high cost of basic commodities and services),” Aquino said

“Masaya tayo na nagbago ng isip ang DBM. Nakakapanghinayang lang na pinag-antay natin nang matagal ang mga empleyado ng pamahalaan at mga guro para sa dagdag-suweldo na matagal na dapat nilang napakinabangan, (We are happy that the DBM has changed their mind. It’s only regrettable is that our government employees and teachers wait for too long for their salary hike which they could have used since then),” he said.

On January 14, 2019, the Senate minority bloc submitted Resolution No. 982 expressing the sense of the Senate that the DBM should use the MPBF to pay the final part of the salary hike for government workers.

However, then Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno did not heed the resolution, insisting that the move would be unconstitutional.

But on March 21, Malacañang confirmed that Duterte has issued Executive Order No. 76 which amended EO 201 or the 2016 Salary Standardization Law (SSL), modifying the salary schedule and authorized the grant of additional benefits to both civilian and military personnel.

“The President does not want to prolong the overdue salary increase that our public servants, who have been working tirelessly and silently for the last two months, have been looking forward to,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

But the Palace has reiterated its call for the Senate and the House of Representatives to end the impasse on the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019 for the immediate review and approval of the President.