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Civilian gov’t workers to enjoy yearly pay hike til ‘22

/ 05:40 AM August 24, 2019

Civilian government employees will enjoy yearly salary increases until 2022 or the last year of President Duterte in office under the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5, Acting Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said Friday.

“It is programmed for three years starting 2020, thus the corresponding funding requirements must be included in the annual national expenditure program (NEP),” Avisado told the Inquirer.

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In a separate interview, Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) noted that the upcoming SSL 5 could be the shortest, as the previous SSLs had been usually implemented for at least four years.

Toledo said the DBM has yet to determine the total cost to implement SSL 5 in the next three years.

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Avisado earlier said the planned SSL 5 had a P31.1-billion funding under the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund in the proposed P4.1-trillion 2020 national budget.

Last Thursday, Avisado told the House appropriations committee that the Office of the President would transmit the proposed measure to Congress next month as the DBM had decided that the salary hike must be covered by a law.

For his part, Toledo said a law would be a “stronger” basis for the annual salary increases—“you will already have a legal basis if it’s a law; if it’s an EO (executive order), there may be changes when the administrations change,” he explained.

Avisado said the amount allocated for next year was based on a survey that the DBM conducted in coordination with the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GCG).

According to Avisado, the GCG was expected to submit a report in relation to the proposed salary increase within the month.

The lowest salary grade is expected to enjoy a 10-percent increase in pay under the proposal, Avisado said.

Next year’s allocation for another round of salary raise is nonetheless lower than the P51-billion budget for this year, during which the fourth tranche of SSL 4 was implemented.

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The current SSL was implemented during the past four years under EO No. 201 issued by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2016.

The previous administration had lacked time to enact the salary adjustments into law as the measure came too close to the 2016 national elections

The fourth tranche of salary hikes under SSL 4 was nonetheless delayed due to the late passage of the P3.7-trillion 2019 budget.

DBM data provided to the Inquirer showed that as of July, the government had more than 1.2 million civilian workers. —BEN O. DE VERA

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TAGS: Rolando U. Toledo, Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5, Wendel E. Avisado
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