Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pay hike for gov’t workers approved

By Marvin Sy - Phil Star
President Arroyo has signed an executive order that will increase the monthly pay of government employees by 10 percent starting this July.

Executive Order No. 611, signed by the President last March 14, also provides an increase in the subsistence allowance and hazard pay of military and uniformed personnel.

"There is an imperative need to improve the morale of the civil service through a more competitive compensation system that supports the economic well-being of government personnel," the order stated.

Around P10.3 billion has been included in the 2007 General Appropriations Act for the salary increase of state workers.

The 10 percent increase will include all civilian government personnel whose positions are covered by the Compensation and Position Classification System.

Instead of granting a fixed amount of increase across the board, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. said that a percentage-based increase was adopted "to avoid distortions in the pay scale."

Depending on the length of service of the government employee, the 10 percent salary increase would be equivalent to varying amounts for every pay grade under the step increment rule contained in the joint Civil Service Commission-DBM circular.

Government employees covered by the salary increase are civilian officials and employees of national government agencies, including state colleges and universities, government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs) and local government units.

In the case of the military and other uniformed personnel, the EO provides an increase in the subsistence allowance from P60 to P90 per day. The hazard pay was also doubled from P120 to P240 per month.

Apart from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), uniformed personnel from the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority would also get allowance and hazard pay increases.

In the case of the GOCCs and GFIs, the funding for the increase would be sourced from their respective corporate funds, while the LGUs should source it from their respective local funds.

If GOCCs, GFIs or LGUs do not have sufficient funds to pay for the compensation increase, they would be allowed to partially implement the adjusted rates, provided that there would be a uniform percentage increase for all positions.

Aside from the year-end bonus and fixed personnel benefit contributions, there would be no increases in the allowances and benefits of government employees.

The last legislated salary increase for civil servants was granted in July 2001, which was equivalent to five percent of their basic salary.

In 2006, a P1,000 increase in compensation was approved by Mrs. Arroyo through an administrative order.

"When we embarked on our mission to put our fiscal house in order, we asked government workers to toil with us. Now that we have turned the corner, the comprehensive pay increase once foregone can no longer be postponed," Andaya said.

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