House committee on Appropriations OKs proposed Salary Standardization Law

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, Nov. 11 (PNA) — The House committee on Appropriations on Wednesday approved the proposed Php226 billion four-year “Salary Standardization Law of 2015” or SSL 2015.

The panel passed House Bill 6268 or the SSL 2015 to modify the compensation and position classification system of civilian government personnel and the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel.

Only Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio opposed it citing the need to give higher salary increase to ordinary workers.

The measure will increase the salary of all government workers and would grant them a 14th month pay in a form of mid year bonus.

Under Salary Grades 1 to 11 that comprises around 606,000 state workers (52 percent of the government workforce), the measure provides that they will also enjoy a tax-free 14th month pay and performance-based bonus.

Those under Salary Grades 1 to 11 earn around Php9,000 to Php20,000 per month under the proposed SSL 2015.

Budget Sec. Florencio “Butch” Abad stressed that the measure will give huge gain for the public school teachers because it guarantees raise on their earnings to at least 200 percent higher than their private sector counterparts among Teachers 1, 2 and 3.

“It is not true that the hike for the teachers’ salary will only be at 11.89 percent. The proposed SSL includes a tax free mid year bonus and performance-based bonus for those under Salary Grade 11 where majority of the teachers belong. This means more take home pay for them. Considering those, the increase would be as much as 30 percent,” Abad explained.

“The more we take the salary of the public school teacher farther than that of the teacher in the private sector, then it certainty affects the viability of the private schools. If public school teachers earn200 percent more, then we will definitely attract the best and the brightest teachers in public schools. And that is the objective of the government,” he added.

“Besides, we cannot go beyond our mandate provided under Congress’ Joint Resolution No. 4 which asked us to determine the competitiveness of the government pay in relation to the private sector…to determine the government compensation strategy to bring the government pay closer to the market. Your words,” Abad further said, referring to Congress.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, House Majority Floor Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, House Minority Leader and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, and Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona, who chairs the House committee on accounts, filed HB 6268 to push salary increase.

Gonzales said it is necessary to pass the bill since the funding for the salary increase of the government workers is included in the proposed 2016 P3.002-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

Ungab said the salary standardization will be implemented next year and will require a total funding of Php57.9 billion.

On top of the 14th month pay, the average lowest increase in the first year of implementation is almost Php500 monthly under Salary Grade 1 or from the present Php9,000 to Php9,478 during the first year and will reach Php11,068 in the fourth year.

On the first year of implementation, the President’s salary is Php160,924 and almost Php400,000 in the fourth year under Salary Grade 33.(PNA)