ALBAYA Rep. Joey Salceda yesterday disclosed the government is eyeing to spend at least P110 billion to fund the salary increase of all state workers in the next three years.
Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means, said the government is planning to increase state workers’ salaries by an average of 15 percent to be spread out in three years or an annual five percent increase.
“Using the study commissioned by GCG-DBM (Governance Commission for Government-owned and Controlled Corporations-Department of Budget and Management), the administration is set to spend P110 billion over three years for its civil servants including nurses and teachers,” Salceda said in a statement.
Salceda, who is also a senior vice chair of the committee on appropriations, said the government has already allocated funds for the implementation of the Salary Standardization Law 5 (SSL 5) in 2020 although Congress is yet to pass the measure.
Under the P4.1 trillion proposed national budget for 2020, P32 billion was earmarked for the first tranche of the wage increase and another P4 billion for miscellaneous benefits.
“These has been programmed within the organic capacity of the government and need no new taxes to underwrite it,” Salceda said.
The left-leaning Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) earlier said the allocation reeks of favoritism because the government is spending P76 billion for the increase in the salaries of police and military personnel.
ACT, which is part of the Salary Increase Solidarity, said the allocation will only amount to a “measly” P1,845 monthly increase or P61 per day” if the 1.2 million government employees will be given equal pay hikes.
Public school teachers are protesting the measly pay hike, saying state workers deserve no less than P16, 000 for Salary Grade I employees; P30, 000 for Teacher I; and P31, 000 for Instructor I.
Salceda said that unlike the previous SSL, the new proposal will favor employees under Salary Grades 1 to17 with higher increases while those in Salary Grades 18-33, including the president and congressmen, will receive lower increases.
“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 and forward estimates (of) three-year inflation (rates) of two to four percent per year,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu of Batangas welcomed the planned increase, saying it will be a huge help for all government employees and workers.
“We have to strengthen our workforce and be competitive to encourage them to stay in the civil service instead of working for the private sector,” he said.
A Pulse Asia survey conducted from June 24 to 30 showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos want new government salary hikes to cover all workers in the public sector, including teachers.
Conducted from June 24-30, the Pulse Asia survey indicated that 77 percent of Filipinos aged 18 years old and above agreed that salary standardization should include all government workers while only 17 percent of the respondents wanted an exclusive salary hike for teachers. Three percent disagreed with the salary increase while another three percent replied that they “don’t know.”