Despite Congress’ failure to pass the proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) IV before session ended on Wednesday, Malacañang on Monday said government workers can still get the pay increase they deserve.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), according to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., is already preparing its recommendations to President Benigno Aquino 3rd on how to implement the first tranche of salary adjustments as provided for in the proposed SSL IV, despite non-passage of the bill.
“A total of P57.9-billion [outlay]is included in the General Appropriations Act of 2016 and this will fully cover the first tranche,” Coloma said in a statement.
“Moreover, the DBM will include a similar item in the proposed National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2017, to cover the second tranche. The proposed NEP will be turned over to the next administration,” he added.
Congress adjourned session on Wednesday without approving the proposed Salary Standardization Law IV.
“It is unfortunate that Congress has failed to pass the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015 as a result of the deadlock on the issue of the indexation of pension of retired military and uniformed personnel,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a separate statement.
But Abad noted that the executive has options within its power to effect the proposed compensation adjustment.
He cited Section 13 of Presidential Decree 985 and Item 17 (iv) of Congress Joint Resolution 4, s. 2009, which authorizes the President to periodically revise or update, upon recommendation of the DBM, the government’s Compensation and Position Classification System.
“Based on these laws, the President may effect a compensation adjustment that is still consistent with the compensation adjustment strategy under the proposed SSL 2015,” Abad said.
“Trust that the DBM will forward a recommendation that is faithful to the parameters of the compensation adjustment strategy that we developed based on the results of the Compensation and Benefits Study for the Public Sector, the same compensation adjustment strategy that is embodied in House Bill 6268 approved by the House of Representatives last December. We will also push for the compensation adjustment to be retroactive to January 1, 2016,” he added.