Pay hike meant to promote excellence in gov’t service: Palace

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the much-awaited fifth round of salary increases among 1.4 million government workers to promote excellence in public service, MalacaAang said on Thursday.

Speaking to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said another pay hike in government has the "strong support" of the President, whose desire is to "upgrade the standard of living of government employees."

"And this measure will rationalize the compensation of all civilian personnel, including those in the legislative and judicial branches, as well as of local government units under certain conditions," the Palace official said.

"The purpose of which is to create an atmosphere which would promote excellence in the service providing for a performance-based incentive scheme to reward outstanding public servants," he added.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5 on Wednesday, but the Palace released a copy of the newly-signed law on Thursday.

The new law will implement the four tranches of the salary increase from 2020 to 2023.

A total of PHP130.45 billion would be needed to implement the four tranches of the SSL-5, with PHP33.16 billion as the funding requirement for this year.

Under SSL-5, increases in the pay for employees with Salary Grades 1 to 10 or the sub-professional levels will be from 17.5 percent to 20.5 percent over four years.

The lowest salary grade level employee, who is earning PHP11,068 a month, will enjoy an increase in his compensation to PHP11,551 in 2020, to PHP12,034 in 2021, to PHP12,517 in 2022, and to PHP13,000 in 2023.

The biggest increases would apply to employees belonging to the Salary Grades 10 to 16 bracket or the professionals, who comprise the bulk of the bureaucracy.

For Salary Grade 11 employees or the entry-level for teachers, they will receive an increase from PHP20,754 monthly to PHP22,316 in 2020, PHP23,877 in 2021, PHP25,439 in 2022, and PHP27,000 in 2023.

The lowest increases would apply to the middle managers, executives and the top officials of the country or from Salary Grades 25 to 33, at a mere eight percent.

Meantime, the 1987 Constitution states that the salaries of the President and Vice President will remain the same and whatever increases provided by SSL-5 will only be enjoyed after their terms. The same applies to the incumbent members of Congress.

'Competitive, just' wages

Panelo said the new law would benefit the "hardworking men and women" in the government, including the "most neglected" public servants such as teachers and nurses.

He also reassured the public school teachers that the President would fulfill his earlier promise to further raise their salaries during his term.

His assurance came after the Teachers' Dignity Coalition said that while it is thankful for the signing of the SSL-5, it was still dismayed that the salary increase was far from what the teacher group expected, which is PHP10,000 across-the-board hike for teachers and other personnel of the Education department.

"The promise of the President will be complied with. Maybe not this year but his term has not yet ended. You must remember that the increase will depend on the funds that this government has," he said.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said all government workers would now enjoy competitive and just salaries.

We laud President Duterte's signing of the Salary Standardization Law that increases the salaries, under its fifth round, of all civilian government employees, especially our nurses and teachers, he said in a statement.

Under this law, the salary increase is divided into four tranches that will commence this year until 2023. With this in effect, our civil servants will receive the necessary competitive and just wages that would allow them the financial security to support themselves and provide for their families' needs, he added.

Andanar also hailed the contributions of Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, as well as all the senators and congressmen who supported the pay hike and adhered to the President's directive to prioritize the passage of the measure.

Andanar said the newly-signed law is just one of the Duterte administration's commitments in recognizing the hard work, efforts, and contribution of 1.4 public servants that have dedicated themselves into serving our national interests, our people, and the rest of the Philippines.

This administration will continue to work in order to ensure that it fulfills its promise to double our civil servants' salaries, as part of President Duterte's legacy, the PCOO chief said.

In a separate statement sent to reporters, Panelo hoped that the President's latest move to raise the salaries of government workers would encourage them to have more dedication in fulfilling their respective duties.

"The new compensation scheme is competitive with those of the private sector to attract or maintain talented human resources," he said.

"The Palace hopes that this latest round of salary adjustment will motivate everyone in the public sector to work doubly hard and put more dedicated and competent service in their respective jobs," Panelo added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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