MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Aquino’s administration is planning to increase the salary of the President’s successor from P120,000 to about P400,000 a month.
In a report by Jess Diaz of The Philippine Star, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad told that under Malacañang’s new salary adjustment plan, government personnel with low salary grades would receive less, while those with high salary levels would get more.
“Those with low salary grades are receiving salaries that are already at par with the market (comparing salaries in the government with those in the private sector) It is the higher grades that are far from the market,” Abad said to Philippine Star.
In the bureaucracy, there are 33 pay levels. The Salary Grade 1 is the lowest salary that pays about P9,500 a month.The highest is the Salary Grade 33 which pays P120,000 a month.
Abad told The Star, the President’s basic monthly salary of P120,000 is only about “30 percent of the market.” Making the salary par to the market, would mean increasing it more than three times or up to about P400,000. “But that is the salary of the country’s president,” Abad added.
If the incumbent Congress approves the salary plan, and President Aquino signs it into law, lawmakers and the President are prohibited by the Constitution to get benefit from it, and it is the successor of Aquino who will receive the new rate. But Abad said the Cabinet would first approve the plan before sending it to Congress.
The 2016 national budget has a proposal of P3.002-trillion, including about P60 billion for the new round salary increase for more than a million government officials and employees.
Sen. Ralph Recto argued that the pay hike should be focused on Salary Grades 11 to 13, or those receiving pays between P18,549 to P19,887 and P21,436 to P22,982 a month. He added that a bulk of government personnel are in this salary grade brackets.
Salary Grade 11 is an entry-level pay rate in public schools and government nurses, though the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 provides that they should be getting Salary Grade 15. Party-list group Ang Nars, has filed a case with the Supreme Court (SC) to follow the law stated.
The government completed a four-year pay adjustments three years ago, and saw the bureaucrats’ salary double. For example, the President’s monthly salary increased from P60,000 to P120,000.
Before approving the increase in pay rate, the Members of Congress used to receive only P35,000 a month, but they now get about P95,000, the same salary that Cabinet members are earning.
On an Audit report on compensation for 2014 of Commission of Audit, high-ranking government officials, including justices of the SC, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals and Sandiganbayan, are receiving more than P1 million a year in basic pay.
The report didn’t indicate on how much allowance they get. The SC, being the highest paid justice, received P6.5 million last year. Out of that amount, only P1 million is allotted for their basic salary, the rest of the budget are for their allowance.
Without the plan of increasing the salary of government personnel, the government is shelling out more than P2 billion a day for government salaries and other expenses.