Drilon, Legarda file Senate version of SSL 2015

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Nov. 11 (PNA) – Three days after President Benigno Aquino III pushed the passage of bill increasing salary of government workers, Senate President Franklin Drilon and finance committee chairperson Loren Legarda on Wednesday filed Senate version of the Salary Standardization Law 2015.

Drilon and Legarda filed Senate Bill No. 3009 which mandates a weighted average increase of 45 percent in the total compensation of all government personnel over a four-year period.

Drilon said the new pay scheme will encourage employees to stay longer in government and will boost their morale and productivity.

He said it will also stabilize key government posts and will address high turnover.

“The economy is in the right course and we will take advantage of the favorable condition to raise the pay scheme in the government and align it with the compensation received by employees from the private sector,” Drilon said.

“It is about time that we adjust the salaries of the hardworking men and women who have helped the government to fulfill its mandates to the people,” he added.

Drilon said the low pay rate is the main reason why the government could not keep its employees, as he expressed concern about the high turnover of positions in the government.

Citing a study commissioned by the Department of Budget and Management, Drilon said that the pay scheme in government is 45 percent below market.

This is particularly true for professionals and middle managers in government who only get around 41% and 25% of market rates, respectively. It is only the sub-professionals in government that receive 50% or more of market rates, Drilon noted.

Drilon also observed that some agencies are incapable of filling up vacant positions within a reasonable period of time, which inadvertently affects the smooth delivery of services to the people.

He noted that in 2015, there are 191,988 unfilled positions in government.

“The new compensation package will entice employees to remain on the job and attract competent applicants to be involved in government works,” Drilon underscored.

Drilon said SBN 3009 will introduce a new compensation scheme that will bring the pay system in the government closer to the prevailing rates in the private sector.

The proposed measure, which will cost P225.8 billion over four years, will ensure that salaries for each salary grade allocation of government personnel will not overlap to recognize differences in duties and responsibilities for the position, Drilon said.

Aside from the increases in the monthly salary of government personnel, the proposed measure also introduces an improved set of allowances and benefits, such as a 14th month pay, a mid-year bonus, and an enhanced performance-based bonus which can be equal or double the monthly salary.

“The bill will maximize the employees’ net take-home pay and recognize the government personnel who play a greater role and carry a heavier responsibility in improving government performance,” Drilon said.

Drilon said the Senate targets to pass the measure before the year is over. He is confident that with the support of both houses of Congress, employees, except for incumbent elected national officials, will be able to enjoy the new salary package starting January 1, 2016. (PNA)