Manila, Philippines — Public school teachers, government nurses and low-salaried government staff are expected to receive better salary increase among other government paid workers and professionals in the three-year pay upgrading program starting from 2020 to 2022.
The said program would gradually increase government salaries by 15%. The annual rate of increase is at 5%. Philippine Star reported that the vice-chairman of the committee on appropriations of the House of Representatives, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda confirmed this information. This (three-year pay upgrading program) “will favor Salary Grades 1-17 with higher salary increases, while those in SG 18-33, including the President and congressmen, will receive lower increases”, Salceda said.
Teachers and nurses usually hold Salary Grade 11 that amounts to P20,754 up to P22,829 gross salary depending on the length of service they rendered.
According to Salceda, “The adjustments will preserve and somewhat improve the purchasing power of civil servants, considering the consumer price inflation of 3.4 percent over the past three years and forward estimates of two to four percent per year over the next three years”.
In the government pay scale is ranked by salary grade (SG). SG 1 is the lowest pay level – P11,068 up to P11,732, while the basic salary under SG 17 ranges from P36,942 to P40,267. SG 18 pays P40,637 to P44,294. On the other hand, SG 33, which is reserved for the President of the Philippines which is the highest government post, pays P388,096 to P399,739.
As of the writing of this article, there are several bills being discussed in the House to upgrade the pay grade of teachers and nurses to SG 18-19.
Two leaders of the House, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero and another deputy speaker, Raneo Abu of Batangas have actively supported the plan to give a bigger salary increase to teachers, nurses and rank-and-file up to mid-level personnel.
“We have to structure the adjustment in such a way as to benefit those with low salaries more than those with bigger compensation,” said Romero.
Romero believes that officials from heads to bureau chiefs, directors, assistant secretaries, undersecretaries, Cabinet members, and lawmakers are paid comparable with their private sector counterparts. Hence, Romero emphasized that “the bigger part of funds for compensation adjustment should go to low-ranking personnel”.
In the same line of thought, Abu, said senators, congressmen, Cabinet officials and other high-paid bureaucrats should consider to decide in favor of their colleagues with low SG level who need the increase. “It will not hurt us. We can sacrifice in favor of the bulk of our government personnel,” he said.
On one hand, other lawmakers in the House have pointed out that the estimated 5% increase adjustment is just a drop in a bucket considering the high inflation rate in the Philippines. Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado also promised double of the figure that Salceda confirmed during their recent budget hearing.
— The Pacific Voice
Source: Philippine Star