4th tranche of government salary hike needs EO – DBM

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has recommended to the President to issue an Executive Order (EO) for the release of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, while the approval of the 2019 budget is still pending.

In a press briefing, DBM officer-in-charge Janet Abuel assured government workers they would still enjoy higher salaries despite the continued delay in the enactment of the P3.757 trillion budget.

“We would like to allay the fears of government employees that the reenactment would not prevent the grant, but that would require an Executive Order, which the DBM has already recommended,” Abuel said.

However, Abuel said the 2018 reenacted budget may not be enough to cover the salaries of state employees for the whole year, that’s why it may be necessary to request for a supplemental budget for this purpose.

“Unfortunately, if you have a reenacted budget, it may not be sufficient to cover the entire year so that may require some additional recommendations for funding,” she said.

The fourth and final tranche of wage hike for national government employees was supposed to be implemented last month, but was deferred as Congress failed to pass the 2019 national budget before the end of last year. Currently, the national government is operating on a reenacted 2018 budget.

According to the DBM, the funding requirement for the fourth tranche of salary increase under the SSL is estimated at P45 billion to P50 billion.

Former budget secretary and now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier insisted that there is no legal basis for the release of the fourth tranche of salary hike pending the approval of the 2019 budget.

This prompted Rep. Rolando Andaya to file before the Supreme Court a petition for mandamus to compel the DBM to release immediately the salary adjustment for civilian government workers.

Until now, Congress has yet to remit the enrolled copy of the 2019 budget as the House of Representatives and Senate accuse each other of making last-minute adjustments to the P3.757 trillion budget after it was approved by the bicameral conference committee.

Due to this delay, the DBCC has cut the government’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target to six to seven percent for 2019 from the original goal of seven to eight percent.

Economic managers warned that prolonging the budget impasse in Congress would result in lower public spending, which could have been invested in infrastructure and social services.



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