A legislator on Wednesday urged government agencies to release the yearend incentive or bonus of their employees early so they can schedule their shopping activities ahead of the Christmas holidays.
“They will be able to avoid crowds in malls and other shopping areas if they can plan their purchases in advance, and they can steer clear of the highly infectious novel coronavirus,” Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor said.
Defensor said under Republic Act 11466, aside from the mid-year bonus equivalent to one-month salary, the more than one million government personnel are entitled to receive a yearend incentive, also equivalent to one-month salary, plus a P5,000 cash gift.
The law states that the yearend incentive or Christmas bonus and cash gift “shall be given in November of every year,” he said.
At the House of Representatives, in compliance with the law, he said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has ordered the payment of the additional emolument this week.
“Other agencies could give out the yearend benefits also this week or next week,” he added.
Defensor pointed out that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should have already released the funds needed by agencies for the yearend bonus and P5,000 cash gift.
He stressed that in the case of government nurses, they should be getting at least P33,575 in incentive for this year, plus the cash gift, “since that is now the hiring salary in public hospitals under a recent Supreme Court decision.”
He recalled that the tribunal has ruled that nurses in public health facilities are entitled to Salary Grade 15 compensation under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.
“Salary Grade 15 pays P33,575 this year, which will go up to P35,097 next year under RA 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law 5,” Defensor said.
He said the law applies as well to local government units (LGUs), which are mandated to pay the additional midyear and yearend compensation based on their financial capacity.
“Big and rich LGUs like Quezon City should be able to pay the full one-month salary incentive and P5,000 cash gift. They should release the benefits this month,” he said.
He added that the law covers all government personnel, from the lowest-paid employee receiving Salary Grade 1 (P12,517) to the President, who holds Salary Grade 33 with basic monthly pay of P423,723.