Aquino signs EO granting pay hike for gov't workers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Benigno Aquino III signed the executive order (EO) granting a pay hike for government workers and additional benefits for civilian and military uniformed personnel upon his arrival from a working visit to the United States on Friday, February 19. 

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a statement that the President signed EO 201 "Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel and Authorizing the Grant of Additional Benefits for both Civilian and Military and Uniformed Personnel."

The EO provides for the implementation of the first of 4 tranches under the proposed Salary Standardization Law 2015 or SSL 4 that has not been enacted by Congress, after the bicameral conference committee failed to reconcile differences over the proposed law. 

Coloma said that the 2016 General Appropriations Act authorizes the implementation of the first tranche under SSL 4, with a budget of P57.9 billion ($1.214 billion).

Aquino arrived in Manila early Friday morning after his participation in the special ASEAN-US Summit  in Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage in California, and a working visit in Los Angeles.

Date of effectivity

In a statement, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that for civilian government personnel, “the EO effects the adoption of the same proposals in House Bill 6268 and Senate Bill 2671 for salary increase, the grant of the mid-year bonus equivalent to one month’s basic salary, and the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) at P5,000.”

He said that government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) not covered by the Governance Commission for GOCCs may implement the compensation adjustments charged to their corporate funds. LGUs may also do the same, “subject to the Personnel Services limitation under the law.”

Additional benefits for military uniformed personnel under the EO include increased hazard pay, and the grant of a “substantial Provisional Allowance and an Officers’ Allowance in lieu of Base Pay increase,” said Abad.

“These two new allowances will approximate the additional remuneration had Base Pay been increased. The amounts of these allowances are also based on the proposed increases in Base Pay under the SSL 2015 bill. This is an interim measure until such time that a pension reform measure is passed in Congress that will mitigate the impact of pension indexation,” he said.

The effectivity of the implementation of the adjustments for all civilian and military uniformed personnel is January 1, 2016, and July 1, 2016 for regular Cabinet members.

For the President, Vice-President, and members of Congress, the compensation adjustments shall take effect only after the expiration of the respective terms of the incumbents, the budget chief said.

Abad expressed hope that Congress would pass the SSL when it resumes session, to ensure that the proposed compensation adjustments to be implemented in 4 tranches over 4 years will be permanent.

"With its passage, we will be able to achieve the desired outcome of the proposed SSL, which is to bring the compensation of all government workers to at least 70% of the market rate," he said. – Rappler.com 

US$1 = P47.68