Despite the opposition of ACT party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, the House committee, chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, approved the proposed “Salary Standardization Law of 2015” or the measure seeking to increase the salaries and benefits of 1.3 million state workers by up to 45 percent.
“We instructed the Secretariat to prepare the committee report as soon as possible,” Ungab said after majority of the panel members gave their nod to the pro-workers’ measure. He directed that all 51 measures seeking to upgrade positions and increase in salaries, special allowances, Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA), and other personnel benefits of national government personnel be consolidated with House Bill 6268.
HB 6268 seeks to modify the compensation and position classification system of civilian government personnel and the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel.
“This is timely opportunity to conduct a review and the objective of the review is to determine the competitiveness of the government pay compared to the private sector,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said before the approval of the bill.
“Despite the fact that the SSL 3 has been fully implemented, if we compare government pay rates from Salary Grade 1 to 33 with the private sector, it is still quite far,” he pointed out.
To prove his point, he said the current P120,000 monthly salary of the President is the pay being received by an operations manager of a consumer manufacturing company or a product manager of an IT company. He said once the SSL 4 is implemented, the monthly salary of the President will be increased to P388,096which is equivalent of the pay received by a senior vice president of a financial services company or an operations head of a pharmaceutical company.
He said to attract and retain talent in the government sector, the compensation of government workers shall be at least 70 percent of the market for all salary grades.
“To avoid confusion and to recognize the differences in duties and salaries, we make sure there are no salary overlaps,” Abad said.
He noted that the review of the Public Sector Compensation and Benefits is mandated by Joint Resolution No. 4, which states that a periodic review of the government’s Compensation and Position Classification System shall be conducted every three years.
He said the government already spent P144.8billionto implement the joint resolution, paving the way for the SSL 3 salary increase from 2009 to 2012.
“The rise in take home pay of Teacher 1, Nurse 1 can be as high as 30 percent, i n c l u d i n g performance- based bonus and the 14th month pay, which are tax-free,” he said. (C.Luci, mb)