Some 1.5 million government employees won’t get to enjoy a pay increase by January next year as the Congress failed to ratify the Salary Standardization Law when it adjourned its sessions for its traditional Christmas break last Dec. 16, 2015.
The House of Representatives had earlier approved on third and final reading its version of the proposed Salary Standardization Law or SSL 4, but the Senate deferred its endorsement of the measure because they want the pensions of retired personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) indexed to the pay adjustments.
The plan mapped out by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which the House approved, does not cover retirees of the AFP and PNP. The DBM said including them in SSL 4 would further swell the budget for the costly P226 billion four-stage pay scheme.
The proposed SSL4 also includes an enhanced performance-based bonus system, a 14th month pay, a midyear bonus and an improved set of allowances and benefits which will make government salary rates closer by about 70 percent to prevailing pay scales in the private sector.
For instance, the minimum basic salary for civilian government personnel (Salary Grade 1 or Administrative Aide) would be raised from the current rate of P9,000 to P11,068 by 2019.
Some P50.4 billion has already been allotted in the 2016 national budget for the implementation of the first tranche of SSL 4. 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.