DBM to propose new pay hike scheme for gov't workers in October

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 27) — The Budget department will propose a new set of salary increases in October that will grant a raise for all government workers worth at least 10 percent of their current monthly pay.

Acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the agency has tapped private firm Towers Watson and the state-run Governance Commission for GOCCs to study current salaries of all government officials and employees.

"We hope that we could get the results by next month," Avisado told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Salaries state workers are regularly reviewed and updated to become competitive with rates paid by the private sector.

Avisado previously said that the proposed ₱4.1-trillion budget for 2020 allots ₱31 billion for a one-year pay increase for state workers.

Pending the results of the study, the Department of Budget and Management said the pay hike will be equivalent to at least 10 percent of current government salaries.

Government workers have enjoyed a yearly raise since 2016, through Executive Order 201 issued by then-Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. The last tranche took effect this year, where those under salary grade 1 now earn a minimum of ₱11,068 per month, while the President at salary grade 33 — the highest in the ranks — can earn as much as ₱399,739 monthly.

"We also know there's an ongoing effort on the part of Congress to legislate this. We hope that by October, we can link up with them," Avisado said, adding that it will follow discussions on the 2020 budget.

The House of Representatives has started discussions on the spending plan, which they hope to pass on third reading by October 4. It will then be sent to the Senate for another review, months ahead of their goal to get the President to sign the budget by December 20.

Meanwhile, Avisado said there's a separate review on the military pension scheme, given its ballooning costs.

"We are looking at the implication of this and how much it will cost the government," the Budget chief said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and then-Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno have proposed a new scheme for military retirees and wants the Government Service Insurance System to handle to pension fund, and possibly collect contributions from members of the armed forces.

Currently, military pensions are indexed on the monthly salaries of active uniformed personnel, which means that the government has to pay bigger pensions whenever the salaries of the incumbent rise.