Duterte: Young Cabinet nominees turned off by low salary
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Where are the “bright and young” people Rodrigo Duterte had promised to appoint to his Cabinet?
If Duterte is to be believed, they were his first choices but they declined his offer because of the low government salary.
“Yung mga bata, I have approached for different positions. Ang sabi nila, ‘Magkano ibigay mo?’ Sabi ko, ‘Ganito lang siguro suweldo ng ano eh' (I have approached young people for different positions. They asked, ‘How much can you pay?’ I said, ‘The salary is only this much'),” he said.
Duterte said those he had asked pointed to their families as the reason why they could not accept the government salary. (READ: LIST: Who's who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)
Most of these potential appointees supposedly told Duterte that their children were about to enter college and so they need private sector salaries to pay for tuition fees.
“They want to be patriotic but the problem is the necessity,” said the president-elect.
Duterte declined giving names of the young people he has approached, saying the public might judge them for their decision.
"Baka sabihin ng mga tao mukha silang pera (People might say they are too fixated on money)," said Duterte.
Computing gov't salaries
Cabinet members get a basic salary of P90,000 per month, but what they earn from government depends on the tasks they perform. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, for example, was the highest paid Cabinet official in 2013, earning a total of P4,217,650.
For that year, he received a basic salary of P1,085,940, P29,000 in honoraria, P577,939.18 in allowances, P127,190 in bonuses and incentives, P291,999.95 in discretionary funds, and P2,105,581.33 for chairing the National Food Authority Council.
The Commission on Audit had earlier said that "differences in salaries and allowances received by the government officials are dependent on the nature and complexity of their respective agencies, including allowances for maintenance of overseas operations and security concerns as well as those holding multiple positions."
The president's basic salary is P120,000 per month.
Duterte previously cited low government wages as the primary reason why most brilliant Filipinos choose the private sector over public service.
Cabinet taking shape
Duterte’s announcement of his planned appointments show a Cabinet composed mostly of former government officials, retired military men, lawyer friends, and trusted campaign members.
But he said the appointees are not yet final until he has signed the appropriate documents.
It’s possible for the appointees to be “shuffled” to accommodate future appointees, he added.
Duterte admitted he is finding it “difficult” to find people to head the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Budget and Management.
But for the newly-created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), he said there are plenty of people to choose from.
“Yes, I have to appoint a very technical, a very good guy, an expert there. Marami tayo niyan (We have a lot of those),” he said. – Rappler.com