By Mario Casayuran
Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go said Thursday the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5 satisfies President Duterte’s wish for a complete and holistic approach to salary increase for government employees.
Go issued the statement after witnessing the signing into law last Wednesday by President Duterte of Senate Bill (SB) 1219 that would give civilian government employees, including nurses and teachers in the public sector, their fifth round of salary increases.
Go said the enrolled SB 1219 was one of his priority bills, in addition to the Malasakit Center Act of 2019, and a bill postponing barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, both of which have also been passed into law.
“The President wants nothing less than a complete and holistic approach to the salary increase. Meaning, he wants all government employees to receive an increase,” Go said.
Go filed last July SB 200 that served as one of the bases of SB 1219.
‘’With the signing of the measure, the minimum basic salary of a first-level (Salary Grade 1) government employee will now be increased from P11,068 to P13,000 (after all tranches, in 2023) due to the SSL 5,” he explained.
Under the newly signed law, the increase in the salaries will be divided into four tranches, starting 2020 until 2023. A total of P34 billion was allocated in the 2020 national budget for the salary increases for the current year.
He added that “around 1.4 million civilian personnel in the national government” are set to benefit from the law.
Go said he and President Duterte have been staunch supporters of salary increase for government workers, with the President even urging Congress to pass the new SSL during his State of the Nation Address in 2019.
The President certified the bill as urgent in December last year, allowing the Senate to proceed to the third and final reading of the bill right after the second reading, bypassing the rule that requires three days to pass between the second and third readings.
“In recognition of their invaluable contributions, our civil servants, the people who dedicate their everyday lives to the service of the Filipino people, must be given an opportunity to pursue a career in the service that would allow them to enjoy competitive wages, enough to address their personal needs and that of their families,” Go said.
“Lastly, allow me to thank each and every employee, from the highest posts to the lowest ranks, who has dedicated himself each and every day to the service of the country and the Filipino people,” he added.
Go also expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in the Senate and the Lower House of Congress for their support and their efforts in making sure that the measure was passed on time.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga kasamahan ko sa Senado lalo na kay Senate President Vicente ‘’Tito’’ C. Sotto III at Senate Majority Leader Juan Migue; ‘’Migz’’ Zubiri. Pati rin po kay House Speaker Alan S. Cayetano at House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez for their support in passing this measure. Sana ay magpatuloy ang magandang performance ng legislative branch ngayong taon,” Go said.
(I am thankful to my colleagues in the Senate, particularly Senate President Sotto and Majority Leader Zubiri. I also thank House Speaker Cayetano and Majority Leader Romualdez for their support in passing this measure. I hope such a good cooperative effort in the Legislative branch will continue this year.)