Gov't workers to receive salary increase in January


MANILA -- Civil servants are assured of getting pay hikes starting January 1 next year under the proposed Salary Standardization Law 5 (SSL-5) as funds for the salary increases are provided under the 2020 national budget, Senator Sonny Angara said Tuesday.

“Government employees and officials will receive increases in their salaries on January 1 next year once Congress approves the final version of SSL-5 within the week,” Angara said in a statement.

“The funding for the first tranche of the SSL-5 is already provided under the PHP4.1 trillion national budget (for 2020),” he said.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Finance made the assurance following the Senate’s final approval of Senate Bill 1219 with a vote of 21 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and one abstention.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon abstained on the proposed measure as he pushed for a 5-percent across-the-board increase on top of the proposed rates under SB 1219.

The Senate was able to swiftly approve the measure after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as urgent.

Angara, who defended the bill on behalf of its sponsor Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., said increasing the salaries of civil servants is in response to the continuous hike in daily expenses such as food, transportation, and even education.

“By hiking their salaries, we not only give them some breathing room as far as their finances are concerned, but we are also motivating them to work even harder in their respective jobs,” he said.

The senator pointed out that the biggest increases would apply to employees belonging to the Salary Grades 10 to 16 bracket, or the professionals who comprise the bulk of the bureaucracy.

“The executives were already covered by significant increases in the previous round of salary increases or SSL-4, so for the SSL-5, the decision was to focus on the employees in the middle,” Angara said.

Under SSL-5, government employees with Salary Grades 1 to 10 or the sub-professional levels, the increases in the pay will be from 17.5 percent to 20.5 percent over four years.

On the other hand, the lowest increases would apply to the middle managers, executives and the top officials of the country, or from SG 25 to 33, at a mere 8 percent.

The fifth round of salary increases will be implemented in four tranches from 2020 to 2023.

A total of PHP130.45 billion would be needed to implement the four tranches, with PHP33.16 billion as the funding requirement for 2020.

“Besides the salary increases, the bill also institutionalizes the mid-year bonus equivalent to a one-month basic salary. This is given to employees who have rendered at least four months of service,” Angara said. (PNA)