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House panel OKs bill increasing salary of gov’t workers beginning 2020

The House Committee on Appropriations on Monday approved the measure seeking to increase the salary of government employees beginning January next year.

During its meeting, the panel approved House Bill 5712, a consolidation of more than 100 measures proposing the increase in the salary schedule of government workers, including teachers and nurses.

According to House panel chair Isidro Ungab, the proposal was based on the results of a study conducted by the Department of Budget and Management together with a private consulting firm to ensure that government pay is competitive with that of the private sector.

The salary schedules will be increased in four tranches, until 2023. The first tranche will be implemented on January 1, 2020.

"The salaries of government personnel will be raised to a level closer to market rates will giving priority to the rank and file consisting of sub-professional and professional categories," Ungab said.



A copy of the measure has yet to be released to the media. However, Ungab said that the proposed minimum basic salary for Salary Grade 1 under the bill is P13,000 from the current P11,068.

Meanwhile, the salaries of Teacher I, II and III will be increased by 30.1%, 37.1%, and 24.1%, respectively, he added.

The measure also mandates the grant of midyear bonus to government workers equivalent to one month salary as of May 15 of a given year, provided that they have rendered at least four months of service and are still in service by the same day.

The said incentive will also be released not earlier than May 15 of every year.

Ungab said a total of P34.2 billion has been allocated under the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund for its implementation next year.

He is also expecting that President Rodrigo Duterte will issue a certificate of urgency so that they may fast-track its approval and have it implemented on January 1, 2020.

"Hopefully kung ma-take up namin sa plenary this afternoon, [the] Senate will be taking up also the matter this afternoon. If we have the same version na mapasa, most likely mahabol within the next three days mahabol," he said.

However, presidential  spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Executive department would not interfere with legislative work.

"As we said, the President does not really interfere with any kind of work that a co-equal branch does. Hinahayaan na lang niya ‘yun," Panelo said when asked if the Palace will encourage the Senate to pass a counterpart bill before the year ends.

'Not enough'

ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro, however, said the proposed increases are still not enough to meet the demands of the teachers and other government employees.

"Ang hindi ko nagustuhan dito, yung Salary Grade 1, which is now kasi P11,000 sila, ito ay four tranches pa rin. Pagdating ng 2023, magiging P13,000 na sobrang liit," she said.

"Yun naman sa Teacher 1, ngayon ay P20,754. At the full implementation nitong proposal na ito, magiging P27,000 lang. Kapos siya ng P3,000 doon sa proposal nung mga teachers. Ito ay P27,000 after four years pa," she added.

Ungab, in response, said that the salary schedules were based on the study of the DBM. Such amounts could have been further increased if only there are more funds, he added. — RSJ, GMA News