Thursday, February 18, 2016

Executive Order on Salary Increase for Government Workers


Long time, no post! To start off the year with good news, Pres. P-noy has signed the Executive Order implementing the increase of the salary of government workers, in response to the deadlock on the Salary Standardization Law in the Congress. So while the legislators are busy campaigning, the President signed this EO since anyway, the increase for the year is already included in the budget.

Here's DBM Secretary Abad's message on the salary increase:

We are happy to announce that the President has signed the DBM-proposed Executive Order modifying the salary schedule and authorizing the grant of additional benefits for both civilian and military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

We commend the President for his swift and decisive action in response to the congressional deadlock on the issue of the indexation of MUP pension, which resulted in the non-passage of the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015 (SSL 2015).

This action by the President leverages the benefits package in order to increase the take-home pay of government employees as stipulated in the proposed SSL bills.

The Executive Order effects compensation adjustments for this year as an interim measure to implement Tranche 1 of the proposed SSL, the full year requirement for which has already been provided in the National budget. 

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.

GOCCs not covered by the Governance Commission for GOCCs may implement the aforementioned compensation adjustments charged to their corporate funds.
LGUS may also implement the compensation adjustments subject to the Personnel Services limitation under the law. 

For MUP, the EO effects the increase of Hazard Pay, and the grant of a substantial Provisional Allowance and an Officers' Allowance in lieu of Base Pay increase. These two new allowances will approximate the remuneration has Base Pay been increased.

 The amounts of these allowances are also based on the proposed increases in Base Pay under 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. 

The implementation of these compensation adjustments provided in the EO shall be effective January 1, 2016 with respect to all civilian and MUP personnel. With respect to regular members of the Cabinet, the effectivity is on July 1, 2016.  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. 

We trust that Congress will pass the SSL when it resumes so that the proposed compensation adjustments to be implemented in four tranches over four years will be permanent. With its passage, we will be able to achieve the desired outcome of the of the proposed SSL, which is to bring the compensation of all government workers to at least 70 percent of the market rate. 

Source: Official Gazette

For some people, this may appear to be a campaign propaganda of the current administration. I think it is, but it doesn't mean that government employees and their families will vote for P-noy's candidate just because of this increase. I think government employees have their own standards for their chosen candidates and are capable of voting wisely on their own.

I have reservations regarding the amount of the increase though. I was hoping that those in the lower salary grade were given a higher rate of increase.  It should not have been based on the percentage of a salary, but a fixed amount to allow everybody to enjoy the same increase. BUT, I believe the purpose of the SSL is to put the salaries of the top managers/officials  of the government at par with the salaries of those of equivalent rank in the private sector, hence, the variance in the increase between the rank and files and the bosses.

Still, I will accept the blessing. Thanks, Mr. President!