National government payroll to hit P1 trillion in 2017

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The national government’s payroll for about 1.6 million public workers will breach the P1-trillion mark next year or about P3 billion a day, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said yesterday.

He said the budget for 2017 was double what it was in 2010 and could swell by at least P200 billion in 2018 due to the third installment of the Salary Standardization Law IV (SSL-IV), hikes in soldier and policeman pay and hiring of new personnel.

The senator said meeting the “pay, pension, perks and premium contributions” of the projected 1.6 million national employees in 2017 would require “a daily payroll burden of about P3 billion.”

For 2017, allocation for “personal services” or PS – the budgetary term for all personnel compensation expenses – will reach P997 billion.

It accounts for nearly 30 percent of the P3.35-trillion proposed national budget for 2017.

The trillion-peso compensation outlay, however, is for national government agencies alone and does not include local governments, Recto said.

Real PS, Recto added, would be bigger than the P997 billion as the wages of many government contractual employees are not booked as PS but are drawn from allocations for “professional services,” considered as a non-payroll “maintenance or operating expense.”

Outsourced jobs, like security and janitorial services, also deflate the PS cost as they are charged to the “general services” fund.

Some P37.2 billion is earmarked for professional and general services in 2017.

Recto recalled that PS in 2010 was P457.6 billion and was P350.3 billion three years before, in 2007. “It will triple in a decade,” he said.

Of the P1-trillion PS budget for 2017, P707.6 billion is for civilian personnel while P183.3 billion is for military and uniformed men – policemen, soldiers, firemen, jail guards and Coast Guard personnel.

One big and growing item in the PS bill is the pension of military retirees, veterans, former policemen and other uniformed personnel, for which P102.2 billion is being set aside for 2017, up from P75.8 billion this year, or a P26.4 billion jump.

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