The House of Representatives approved a proposed pay increase for government workers on second reading last week after President Benigno Aquino III submitted the measure for congressional action.
The proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015, embodied under House Bill 6268, was approved swiftly by the Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday morning, and was passed at the plenary level on second reading on the same day after just two hours of discussion.
The SSl of 2015 will be implemented over a four-year period, and would cost P225.82 billion to cover the salary increases of 1.53 million government employees.
Besides salary hikes, the SSL also includes a 14th month pay, and an enhanced performance-based bonus system.
According to the Department of Budget and Management, the SSL will raise government salaries by an average of 45% to bring them closer to market rates, or 70% of what state employees could earn when working for similar positions in the private sector.
If the measure is passed by the Congress before the end of the regular session this year, the first phase of the SSL will take effect on January 1, 2016 and every year thereafter until 2019.
But the President, Vice President, Cabinet officials, and members of the Congress are excluded from the salary hike, because theirs would take effect only on July 1, 2016, or when a new set of officials elected during the May 2016 elections have already been sworn in to their posts.
Under the SSL, employees receiving Salary Grade 1 rates such as utility workers and clerks will be receiving P11,068 from their current P9,000 monthly pay.
The salary increases will also include teachers, soldiers, police officers and the ranks of uniformed personnel.