Gov't salary hike ready in time for 2016 – congressmen

WAGE HIKE. Government workers' salaries would soon increase should the law be passed.

MANILA, Philippines – Top officials of the House of Representatives said on Monday, November 9, they will "immediately act" on the recommendation o President Benigno Aquino III to increase the basic salary of government workers under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

"We'll study and pass it in time for 2016 implementation," House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr told reporters in a news conference.

The proposed SSL passed the first reading during Congress's regular session late Monday and is now with the House committee on appropriations.

Appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab said the committee will hear the proposal on Wednesday, November 11.

"We will have a hearing this week. We will approve it on Wednesday. I don’t think there will be objections," Ungab said, mentioning they will pass the bill close to the passage of the 2016 budget.   

Under the current budget proposal, SSL funding amounts to P50.4 billion. Since the first year requirement to implement the revised salary scale is P57.9 billion, Congress would have to do some adjustments.

Additional money needed will come from the Miscellaneous and Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) and the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF), Ungab said.

"We have been waiting for this because it is included in the proposed budget for 2016. We are expecting this."

Earlier on Monday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced Aquino's endorsement of a bill that would revise the current SSL, which sets government workers' compensation scheme. 

Upon enactment into law, the proposal would increase the basic salaries of government employees by 27 percent.

This means those categorized at the lowest salary grade (SG 1) will now earn P11,068 monthly from P9,000. Teachers who used to earn P19,000 from Salary Grade 19 will now be paid P25,000 monthly.

"This is good news for the employees of the government," Ungab said. – Rappler.com