MANILA – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III assured that all government employees from the entry-level workers to the high-ranking government officials will receive higher wages by next year should the proposed compensation scheme be approved.
“Sabi ‘nung isang kampo, kapag daw ipinatupad natin ito, kawawa naman daw ang mga nasa ibaba na baitang. Bakit daw uunahin ang nasa taas? Actually ho, sabay-sabay e,
Aquino said in a Manila Bulletin report.
(One camp said, if we implement this, pity those in the lower ranks. They asked why the salaries of those in the top management should be the first to be increased? Actually, it will be done simultaneously.)
Acknowledging that the private sector continued to offer even more competitive salaries, the President saw the need to give higher wages to state employees as well. Motivating government workers to stay, he sought that their pay to be at par by about 70 percent to those of private workers.
“Kung hindi naman natin bibigyan ng suweldong karapat-dapat ‘yung mahusay, baka ho maubusan siya ng pagmamahal sa taumbayan at isipin naman niya ang sarili at ang kanyang pamilya,” he said.
(If we will not give sufficient salary to those hardworking employees, they may run out of love for the people and think of themselves and their families.)
“So makatuwiran naman po sigurong pantayan natin hanggang kaya ‘yung suweldong pwedeng makuha sa ibang lugar para naman mapanatili,” he added.
(So I think it’s just right for us to match the government wages to those that can be obtained from elsewhere so that our workers will stay.)
Addressing a critic who feared that the pay hike may cause higher inflation rate and higher consumer prices, Aquino stressed that they have been thoroughly studying the proposal to prevent these.
P3,000 monthly pay hike
Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto projected an average of P3,000 monthly hike for government employees, considering the proposed P50.6 billion allotted budget for 1 million state workers.
“I think a P3,000 average per month increase is the floor being sought… And I have to stress the fact that I am using an average here. It may not also be uniform kasi iba-iba ang rates ng sweldo (because wage rates are different),” Recto said in a CNN Philippines report.
“Secondly, I am assuming a January starting date. So if the increase would take effect July, then we’re looking at an average P6,000 monthly adjustment. Kaya nga maraming variables (That’s why there are a lot of variables),” he added.
The senator also believed that the proposal may just be ‘the first installment of a bigger pay adjustment that will be implemented in phases,’ citing what happened to the similar Salary Standardization Law (SSL) III.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has been drafting an SSL IV. Recto hoped that the bill will be passed soon and that it would prioritize teachers, policemen, firemen and soldiers who are mostly workers at the lowest level with a basic monthly pay ranging from P18,000 to P21,000.