P41,000 pay hike for next president

Jess Diaz - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - For all his or her sweat, effort and hundreds of millions if not billions in expenses, the president elected on May 9 will receive a salary increase of almost P41,000.

Based on the salary adjustment schedule released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), President Aquino’s successor will get a basic monthly pay of P160,924.

This is P40,924 more than Aquino’s paycheck, which is P120,000. He will not receive the increase because the Constitution prohibits him and lawmakers from benefiting from any pay adjustment they approve.

Unlike other officials who receive allowances that are, in some cases, five times their basic salary, the president does not get any additional compensation. However, his living expenses and other expenditures related to his job are borne by taxpayers.

The DBM released the salary schedule as part of the implementation of Executive Order No. 201, in which Aquino ordered a government-wide salary increase for this year.

The President issued the order to fulfill a promise to adjust pay scales in the bureaucracy. He had submitted to Congress a draft of the proposed Salary Standardization Law 4, which the legislature failed to pass.

Under the proposal, the president’s monthly salary would be increased to about P400,000 over four years starting this year. The fate of the proposed law now rests with the incoming Congress.

Based on the new salary schedule, the lowest-paid public school teachers, who hold Salary Grade 11, will now receive a monthly basic pay of P19,077 to P20,585, depending on their length of service.

These are also the salary levels applicable to government nurses, who have the same salary grade as teachers despite the fact that the Philippine Nursing Law of 2002 provides that nurses are entitled to Salary Grade 15, or a pay of P26,192 to P30,752 under the new schedule.

Party-list group Ang Nars, which represents nurses, has filed a case against the DBM with the Supreme Court to compel it to follow the 2002 law.

Congress has approved the proposed new Comprehensive Nursing Law, which reiterates that government nurses are entitled to Salary Grade 15. The proposed legislation awaits President Aquino’s signature.    

The previous Salary Grade 11 rates ranged from P18,549 to P19,887. This means that teachers will get an increase of P528 to P698 a month.

The old rates for Salary Grade 15 were P24,887 to P26,868.

Vice President Jejomar Binay’s successor will receive a monthly basic pay of P135,376. The old salary of the vice president ranged from P103,000 to P111,198.

The salaries of Cabinet members, justices of the Supreme Court (SC) and senators and congressmen will go up from P90,000-P111,198 a month to P117,086-P128,278.

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