Noynoy to adopt freeze hiring in agencies next year

Published by rudy Date posted on August 23, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The government will adopt a freeze hiring policy next year in line with its austerity measures, President Aquino said.

Mr. Aquino made this clear in last Friday’s All Leaders’ Forum with volunteer groups who helped him in the campaign.

The President said he would have wanted to respond to online queries regarding employment opportunities, but decided against it.

He said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad had advised him against employing more people in government because of budgetary constraints.

Abad had pointed out that next year’s national budget has no allocation for the payment of salaries of additional government employees.

Abad suggested the government might adopt freeze hiring in most agencies, possibly with the exception of the Department of Education (DepEd) for the hiring of additional teachers.

The government has managed to keep its national budget for 2011 at optimal level, P1.645 trillion, by doing away with personal expenditures and projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways that can be pre-terminated.

“If you notice a lot of big chunks of public works projects can either be terminated or postponed for next year,” Abad said.

Abad said the government could beat the Aug. 25 deadline to submit its 2011 budget proposal before Congress. He said the draft proposal is ready for submission a day ahead of the deadline.

“There are so many personal items we can control. There is pressure to increase the budget but I think we can manage, with the judicious spending that we will adopt. We’re reviewing every item to see what can be suppressed,” he added.

The final proposal for the national budget for 2011 is P1.645 trillion, following the decision of President Aquino to ban the purchase of new government vehicles and creation of new positions in the government.

The national outlay, dubbed as responsible and judicious spending, is a 6.8 percent increase from this year’s P1.54 trillion budget.

Among the six crucial factors that led to the decrease of the original P1.75-trillion budget were provisions against creating new positions in the bureaucracy that would entail additional money for salary and benefits.

Salary levels for contractual and casual workers will be kept at 2010 levels, tightening of allocation for magna carta and allowances for officials and employees of state-owned firms.

Increased expenditures for utilities and supplies have been limited, and there will be no building construction policy and no acquisition of new government vehicles.

“These are the specific policies that brought down the budget proposal for 2011,” Abad pointed out.

Abad, however, clarified that exemptions to the no-building policy are classrooms, and the creation of new positions in government would also exempt teachers, uniformed personnel and those involved in the medical profession.

“We decided to adopt a more conservative figure. This P1.645 trillion budget is an obligation budget. We have continued to adopt measures to bring down the expenditure level,” he said.

Malacañang said there is a need to increase the tax base to increase collection and fund vital government projects and programs.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang said additional collection from an expanded tax base would help fund the government’s infrastructure and social services programs.

Carandang is urging the public ‘s sense of nationalism by paying the right amount of taxes which, he said, will surely be spent to improve the economy and the lives of the less fortunate.

Carandang said there is a need to increase the tax base after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) discovered that only three million Filipinos regularly pay their income taxes out of the country’s estimated population of 90 million.

With more people paying the proper taxes, Carandang said there is no need for government to increase taxes.

“We have a policy of not raising taxes and yet we need to increase spending on so many things like infrastructure and social spending. And we do not want to do it by raising taxes. We have to be able to collect the proper taxes from the public,” Carandang said. –(The Philippine Star)

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