The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure seeking to increase the salaries of civilian government employees, including nurses and teachers.
Certified by President Rodrigo Duterte as urgent, the chamber approved House Bill 5712 or the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5, with 187 affirmative votes, 5 negative votes, and no abstention.
The bill, which was principally authored by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, proposes a four-year salary increase for government officials and employees, with the first tranche of the adjustment set to be implemented in 2020 and the last tranche in 2023.
House appropriations committee chairman Isidro Ungab, sponsor of the bill, said it aims to attract and retain competent and committed civil servants and promote performance-based work among the public sector workers.
“The salaries of government personnel will be raised to a level closer to market rates while giving priority to the rank and file, consisting of sub-professional and professional categories,” Ungab said.
Ungab noted that the overall weighted average increases upon full implementation of the proposed law in fiscal year 2023 will be 23.4 percent.
He cited that the proposed minimum basic salary under the bill or Salary Grade 1 will be raised from PHP11,068 to PHP13,000 upon full implementation by 2023 to remain competitive with the minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region.
As part of the incentives under the total compensation framework, the measure also seeks to institutionalize the grant of mid-year bonus equivalent to one-month basic salary to those who have rendered at least 4 months of satisfactory service and are still in the service, to be given not earlier than May 15 of every year.
The existing year-end bonus equivalent to one-month basic salary and a cash gift of PHP5,000, which are categorized under the standard allowances and benefits component of the total compensation framework, shall be given in November of every year.
Ungab said the bill took into consideration the results of the study on compensation and benefits in the public sector which the Department of Budget and Management and the Governance Commission for GOCCs conducted together with a private consulting firm.
“Said study aimed to determine the competitiveness of government pay in relation to the private sector and developed a compensation strategy to bring government pay closer to market rates, thereby attract and retain competent and dedicated employees to the civil service,” Ungab said.
In his fourth state of the nation address (SONA) on July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte gave the green light for the next round of salary increases for government employees. (PNA)