Duterte’s wish to hike teachers’ pay okayed

The leadership of the House of Representatives on Monday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s salary increase for state workers, including teachers and nurses in the next three years.

House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez was reacting to the plan of President Duterte to spend P110 billion for a three-year salary increase of government employees starting 2020 until 2022.

“It shows the President’s sincere ‘malasakit’ to the plight of our state workers. We will work very hard to ensure funding for government workers’ salary increase,” said Romualdez, chairman of the House Committee on Rules, referring to the proposed Salary Standardization Law 5.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the Department of Budget and Management would propose an SSL bill to Congress this September.

The budget secretary said the government will no longer give another round of increase for uniformed personnel for 2020 since their salary was already adjusted this year.

Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, bared that the pay hike will be part of the SSL 5.

Salceda said the SSL 5 is well within the capacity of the government and that there is no need for additional tax measure for it.

“The SSL 5 will raise civil servant salaries by 15 percent over three years,” said Salceda, citing the study commissioned by the Governance Commission for Government-Owned-and-Controlled Corporation-Department of Budget and Management.

He also said that the first tranche of the SSL 5 has a P32-billion allocation for wage increase while a separate P4 billion is intended for miscellaneous benefits under the P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.

Salceda also said that a total of P36.630 billion will be given for the second tranche while P36.753 billion for the third tranche of the SSL 5.

“It will favor SG [Salary Grade] 1 to 17 with higher increases while those in SG 18 to 33 including the President and congressmen will receive lower increases,” he said.

“The adjustments will preserve and somewhat improve the purchasing power of civil servants considering the consumer price inflation of 3.4 percent over the past three years [2016 with 1.8 percent, 2017 with 3.2 percent and 2018 with 5.2 percent] and forward estimates three-year inflation of 2 percent to 4 percent per year,” Salceda added.

Earlier, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said the first tranche of SSL 5 will only be implemented despite its budget under next year’s national budget if Congress passes a Joint Resolution.

“The first tranche funding requirement for the SSL 5 is already included in the 2020 budget. It will be implemented once the Joint Resolution is approved,” said Ungab.

Topics: House of Representatives , Rodrigo Duterte , salary increase , Martin Romualdez
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