Gov’t expenses for personal services up by 10.4%

By: Ronnel W. Domingo, January 2nd, 2013 05:05 AM

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad: Higher expenses for personal services

MANILA, Philippines—Government expenses for personal services—including salaries and benefits for those employed by national agencies—increased by 10.4 percent to P496.1 billion in the 11 months to November 2012.

The increase was “largely due to the implementation of the last tranche of the Salary Standardization Law III, the filling up of vacant positions in the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement.

Higher releases for retirement gratuity and terminal leave claims due to the increased number of retirees also contributed to the increase, Abad added.

From January to November, expenses for personal services accounted for about a third of the P1.54-trillion expenditure for the period, which was 14.1 percent higher year on year.

Abad earlier said government spending in 2012 was expected to be “more robust” in the second half due to the early implementation of salary increases under the fourth tranche of the SSL III, payments of conditional cash transfers, as well as expenditures in preparation for the opening of classes.

The budget chief said a total of P24.7 billion had been earmarked for the fourth installment of pay increases provided for in SSL III.

Of the total amount, P21.7 billion comes from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund of the General Appropriations Act of 2012 while P2.7 billion will come from the savings from the national budget.

Abad clarified that individuals and groups engaged through job orders, contracts of service and other similar agreements were not covered by the salary hike.

Also excluded are civilian personnel in government institutions that are exempt from the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.

These institutions are authorized by law to adopt and implement their own compensation and position classification systems, provided that the Office of the President approves such systems.

Further, Abad said pay hikes for employees of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions would be charged against their respective corporate funds in their approved corporate operating budgets.

The pay increase for those working for local government units will be charged against the respective local government funds, he said.

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