House approves bill increasing gov’t pay

Rappler.com
The proposed measure aims to increase the base pay of public sector employees by 45% after 4 tranches

SSL 4. The measure is expected to be implemented by January 1, 2016.

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday night, December 9, the proposed measure that seeks to increase the salary of government employees.

Just hours after the House approved the P3-trillion national budget for 2016, lawmakers passed on third and final reading House Bill 6268 or the Salary Standardization Law of 2015 (SSL 4).

SSL 4 was passed with 170 members voting yes and and 5 voting no. One abstained.

“I am very happy about it as a first step towards a more encompassing law in the future. I thank our colleagues for their support and cooperation to pass on time the vital SSL 2015 bill,” House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said.

The approved measure will increase the compensation of public sector workers by 45%, leveling it to 70% of the private sector rates after all 4 tranches.

Under SSL 4, the lowest ranked personnel (Salary Grade 1) will receive P9,748 monthly in Step 1 of the first tranche, from the original P9,000. It will increase to P9,981 under the second tranche, P10,510 under the third tranche, and P11,068 under the final tranche.

From P120,000 per month, the President at Salary Grade 33 will get P160,000 per month during the first tranche. It will increase to P215,804 in the second tranche, P289,4010 in the third tranche, and P388,096 in the final tranche.

Leftist groups have denounced the increase as only beneficial to top-level officials and not lower-level personnel, who make up more than half of the government workforce. (READ: Only ranking officials will benefit from gov’t salary hike – congressman)

Recruiting better executives

Earlier, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad explained that Congress’ Joint Resolution No. 4, enacted in 2009, mandates the review of the compensation scheme of government employees to be at par with the market rates.

He and other House leaders said the salary of those in Salary Grades 11 to 21 are already at par with the private sector. The government needs to further increase the pay of those in the top posts to recruit more competent executives. 

Aside from the salary increase, the measure also includes “a mid-year 14th month pay, and an enhanced performance-based bonus (PBB) system.”

Free from tax charges, the 14th month pay will account for an additional increase of 8% and 10% for the PBB, which is equal to one to two months’ worth of salary. 

SSL 4 shall cover all civilian government personnel, which includes regular, contractual, appointive, or elective officials hired on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Meanwhile, military personnel of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the uniformed personnel of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the National Mapping and Resource-Information Authority (NAMRIA) will be paid through the Base Pay Schedule.

The 2016 national budget approved Wednesday allots funding of P70 billion for the first tranche of SSL next year. This is approximately a P2-billion increase from the originally proposed P50.9 billion.

According to House Appropriations Committee Chairperson Representative Isidro Ungab, funding requirements for the succeeding compensation adjustments are P54.3 billion for the second tranche, P65.9 billion for the third tranche, and P47.5 billion for the fourth tranche. – Rappler.com 

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