The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure providing a four-stage increase in the salaries of government employees, including military and other uniformed personnel, starting January next year.
A total of 170 lawmakers voted to approved the measure, while five objected to it and one abstained, during the session last Wednesday (December 9, 2015) presided by Deputy Speaker Roberto Puno.
Puno is also the chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP).
The measure, House Bill 6268, or the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015 was principally authored by Speaker Felicianto Belmonte Jr.
When HB 6268 becomes a law, it will lead to a weighted average increase of 45 percent in the compensation of all salary grades and raise the pay of government personnel to at least 70 percent of the private sector rate.
The bill, also dubbed as “SSL 4” will be effected through a combination of a salary increase, a 14th month pay, and an enhanced performance-based bonus to be implemented over a four-year period, from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2019.
Belmonte said HB 6268 aims to maximize benefits for government workers, increase take-home pay, especially for those belonging to the lower salary grades, and strengthen the link between compensation and performance.
"Despite the substantial duties and responsibilities of our government personnel, their salaries stand only at 55 percent, or about half, of current market rates," Belmonte noted.
Some P50.4 billion has already been allotted in the 2016 national budget passed last October by the House for the implementation of the first tranche of SSL 4 this coming January. Another P7 billion was allotted by the Congress for the measure during the bicameral conference committee hearing of the proposed 2016 budget law to complete the funding of P57 billion for SSL 4’s first tranche.
Under the SSL 4, lowest-ranked personnel under Salary Grade 1, who are now receiving P9,000 a month, will get P9,478 a month under Step 1 of the first tranche, P9,981 under the second tranche, P10,510 under the third tranche; and P11,068 under the final tranche.
Those in the highest level of Salary Grade 33, who are presently receiving P120,000 per month, will get P160,000 per month in the first tranche, P215,804 in the second tranche, P289,4010 in the third tranche, and P388,096 in the final tranche.
The military personnel of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the uniformed personnel of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Mapping and Resource-Information Authority (NAMRIA) are also covered by the Base Pay Schedule.