MANILA — Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Friday said that in the absence of a salary raise, the government should study how to provide non-monetary benefits to its workers.
“We must also improve our mechanisms for providing non-monetary benefits such as educational opportunities for our public employees,” Binay said in a speech at the 69th Anniversary of the Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA) and 18th Anniversary of National Convention of Government Employees Working Council (NCGEWC).
Binay recalled how during his time as Makati mayor, study grants and attendance at trainings, seminars, and workshops were provided to help in the career growth and development of Makati employees.
“Many of our employees who were able to avail of such benefits used their acquired knowledge to provide better, more efficient and effective services to the people,” Binay said.
“An added benefit to such a scheme is that the schools that our employees attend are also given the chance to re-calibrate their curricula based on the realities that they daily encounter. Both the academe and bureaucracy then get to partner at improving public service and addressing complex issues of the present and future,” he added.
Binay also urged the Department of Budget and Management to complete and release at the soonest possible time the survey on salary and benefits that determines whether there is a need to raise salaries even though President Benigno Aquino III already discounted the possibility of a salary increase in the coming year.
Binay said he also wants to find out if there are appropriations in the national budget that can be used to raise the salaries and give additional benefits to workers.
“The points raised by some of our senators regarding supposed loopholes in the budget for 2015 stress the need for our citizenry to be more involved in scrutinizing and becoming more active in the budget process,” Binay said
“We must also thoroughly review the national budget so that we can find out whether there are any appropriations that we may instead use to fund salary increases and other benefits,” he added.
Binay also lauded Congress for moving to lower the rates of individual income tax, adjust individual income tax brackets, and raise the tax exemption limit on bonuses.
“Ensuring that the take-home pay is increased will surely help our employees in making ends meet,” he said.
“I believe that expanding the tax base is a better way of increasing revenue than raising tax rates, and such thinking has gained success in Pag-IBIG when the issue of raising the monthly savings requirement of members arose. Pag-IBIG now has more than 14 million members, and gained an all-time high gross income of PHP29.45 billion, net income of Php14.44 billion, and total asset base of Php344.67 billion for the year 2013.” Binay added.