Aquino issues PDs on wage adjustments

Published by rudy Date posted on May 7, 2011

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd has issued two presidential decrees as part of compensation adjustments for government workers and state personnel.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker on Friday said that the P125 across-the-board salary increase for private employees was non-negotiable and the Association of Labor Unions (ALU) rejected the P13.35 increase on the daily wage of Metro Manila workers, a move that it said was a mind-conditioning scheme on the part of employers.

The decrees that President Aquino issued last week implemented the third tranche of wage increases under the Salary Standardization Law and the early disbursement of bonuses and cash gifts for government workers.

The President approved the release of the salary adjustments one month ahead of schedule through Executive Order 40 and the advance payment of one-half of the year-end bonus and cash gift to civil servants through Memorandum 14.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said that funding for the bonus equivalent of one-half of the basic monthly salary and one-half of the P5,000 cash gift has been made available by the Department of Budget and Management since Sunday.

Beginning June 1, government employees entitled to the third installment of the salary standardization will receive their pay adjustment, benefiting those “who need to take care of expenses usually incurred at this time of the year like tuition for the enrollment of” their children, Ochoa added.

“The President acknowledges the fact that the compensation of government employees is not at par with their counterparts in the private sector, so he recognizes the need to fast-track the improvement of the pay scale of those in the bureaucracy,” he said.

Inadequate increase

Rep. Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis party-list said that the P13.35 salary increase recommended by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) would not hold up since the cost of living in Metro Manila was already at P957.

He countered the claim of both the ECOP and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that the wage increase would be inflationary and would result in a massive loss of jobs.

”If we will base our wage hike on those proposals, it [will] be as good as saying that we cannot give [our workers a significant salary increase]”, Mariano told reporters.

“It [will not] be inflationary because increasing the salaries of the workers will] increase” their purchasing power, he added.

ALU national vice president Gerard Seno said that he has no idea how the employers confederation came up with the P13.35 wage hike, adding that if it would be based on the 4.5 percent inflation rate, it should be P18.18.

According to Seno, he and other members of his association would push for the P75 across-the-board salary increase for workers so that they would be able to cope with rising living costs.

The ECOP earlier said that it was agreeable to a maximum daily wage hike of P13.35 a day for workers in Metro Manila, while arguing that forcing employers to grant the P75 daily salary increase would result in retrenchment and companies shutting down, because they continue to suffer from economic difficulties.

The labor union association, however, refuted the confederation’s claim, saying that the employers’ argument was baseless and was not supported by any data from the Department of Labor and Employment. –Laira Janelle Contreras, Special to The Manila Times with reports from Llanesca T. Panti and Jefferson Antiporda, Manila Times

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