Duterte, lawmakers excluded from pay hike | Philstar.com

Diaz, J. (2019, September 24). Duterte, lawmakers excluded from pay hike. Philstar. Retrieved October 22, 2019 from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/09/24/1954424/duterte-lawmakers-excluded-pay-hike

Duterte, lawmakers excluded from pay hike
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) – September 24, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte, senators and the 300 members of the House of Representatives are not included in the new round of salary increase for government personnel, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said yesterday.

“The Constitution prohibits us from being beneficiaries of what we do,” he told reporters.

He said the pay hike would cover the rest of the more than 1.8 million officials and employees in the government.

He said public school teachers would be receiving a bigger increase than other state workers.

“We will fulfill the promise of President Duterte to them after he doubled the compensation of soldiers and policemen,” Cayetano said.

When informed that government nurses are demanding a similar adjustment as teachers, the Speaker said he would look into it.

“But there’s a law that nurses in government hospitals should be getting a higher salary than what they are now receiving,” he said.

Teachers and nurses hold the same pay rate, which is Salary Grade (SG) 11. Their entry-level pay is P20,754.

There are proposals in the House to upgrade them to SG 15, which pays about P30,000, or nearly P10,000 more.

The law Cayetano referred to is the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, under which government nurses should be entitled to SG 15 salary.

But Congress subsequently passed a joint resolution authorizing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to reclassify positions and compensation. The DBM downgraded the pay for nurses to SG 11.

Party-list group Ang Nars has challenged the DBM decision in a case filed with the Supreme Court, which is still pending resolution.

The DBM, through the solicitor general’s office, has opposed the petition.

Unfortunately for nurses, Ang Nars lost in the May elections, though other party-list groups, including those belonging to the Makabayan bloc, have taken up the cudgels for them.

Under Executive Order No. 201, President Duterte’s salary this year increases to P399,739 from P298,083 last year.

The adjusted basic pay of the Vice President, Senate president, House speaker and chief justice is P353,470, while that for senators and congressmen is P295,191.

Duterte is not included in the planned three-year compensation adjustment program that will start next year, as he will sign any bill approved by Congress. Vice President Leni Robredo will benefit from the increase.

EO 201 was signed by then president Benigno Aquino III in February 2016, four months before he finished his term, due to the failure of Congress to approve the proposed Salary Standardization Law 4.

Aquino’s issuance served as the legal basis for the four-year fourth round of pay hike in the bureaucracy, under which government personnel, from the President down to the lowest-paid employee, are getting their last annual increase this year.

Duterte and members of the 17th and the current 18th Congress are benefitting from EO 201 because they were not involved in its issuance.

Published on Headline | Philstar.com

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