SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives approved on Second Reading on Monday, House Bill No. (HB) 5712, principally authored by Speaker Alan Peter "Compañero" Cayetano, seeking to modify the salary schedule for civilian government personnel and authorize the grant of additional benefits. The approval was in response to President Duterte’s certification as urgent of Senate Bill No. 1219 or the proposed “Salary Standardization Act of 2019” which is the counterpart measure of HB 5712.
Earlier in the day, the Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) approved HB 5712. Ungab sponsored and defended the bill when it was subsequently referred for floor deliberation during the session in the afternoon.
HB 5712 or the proposed "Salary Standardization Law of 2019" seeks to raise the minimum basic salary, Salary Grade 1, from P11,068 to P13,000 to remain competitive with the minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region (NCR), according to Ungab. The proposed modified salary schedule shall be implemented in four tranches.
During the hearing of the Committee on Appropriations, Ungab emphasized that the proposed salary hike will ensure that salaries of government employees remain at par with those in the private sector. "The salaries of government personnel will be raised closer to market rates while giving priority to the rank and file consisting of Sub-Professional and Professional categories," he said. This was supported by Department of Budget and Management Assistant Secretary Myrna Chua who relayed DBM's endorsement of the bill. "One of the principles of the other standardization laws is that government pay must be comparable with the private sector," she said.
The proposal raises salaries by a significant amount, especially in the lower Salary Grades. "The overall weighted average increase upon full implementation in fiscal year 2023 will be 23.24 percent. For positions allocated to Salary Grades 11 to 13, for example teachers 1, 2, and 3, the increase in salary shall be 30.1 percent, 27.1 percent, and 24.5 percent, respectively, upon full implementation," Chua said.
Moreover, as part of the Incentives under the Total Compensation Framework, the Mid-Year Bonus equivalent to one month basic salary as of May 15 of a given year, shall be granted to those who have rendered at least four months of satisfactory service and are still in the service as of same date, to be given not earlier than May 15 of every year. Also, the existing Year-End Bonus equivalent to one month basic salary and Cash Gift of P5,000 shall be given in November of every year.
For personnel of National Government Agencies (NGAs), the salary schedule shall be implemented in four tranches, with the first tranche beginning on January 1, 2020, the second tranche beginning on January 1, 2021, the third tranche beginning on January 1, 2022, and the fourth tranche beginning on January 1, 2023.
Ungab explained that consistent with the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address last July 2019, the proposed salary adjustments will cover all civilian personnel, including teachers and nurses. This shall cover government personnel whether regular, contractual, or casual, appointive or elective; and on full-time or part-time basis.
Ungab further said that the bill took into consideration the results of the study on compensation and benefits in the public sector which the DBM and the Governance Commission for GOCCs conducted together with a private consulting firm. "Said study aimed to determine the competitiveness of government pay in relation to the private sector and developed a compensation strategy to bring government pay closer to market rates, thereby attract and retain competent and dedicated employees to the civil service," Ungab said.