Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. supported calls for a fair salary hike in the public sector by implementing changes in the proposed Salary Standardization Law IV.
“There is no dispute over the need to grant our public servants additional pay. What troubles me is the huge disparity in the rate increases for the rank-and-file compared to high-ranking officials,” Marcos said.
A teacher’s group earlier noted that the bill grants only around 12 percent pay hike to entry-level teachers over a period of four years yet awards around 150 percent salary increase for legislators, Cabinet members, the Vice-President and President.
“It gives more to those who are already getting huge salaries and less to those who are really in need of a bigger pay—the ordinary government workers,” Marcos lamented.
He said that under the bill, the lowest-ranked public employee (Salary Grade 1) receiving P9,000 per month will get an increase of only P2, 068 over four years or just about P500 per year.
In contrast, lawmakers or those under Salary Grade 30 who are getting P78, 946 a month will get an increase of P96, 238 or P24, 059 per year. It is even bigger for the President who will get a pay increase of P268, 096 or P67, 024 per year.
“We need to set our priorities right and provide a more equitable rate of pay increases. Unfortunately we have very little time to do that now and the Bicameral Conference Committee is possibly the only chance we can do that,” Marcos said.
“Another option is to work for the amendment of the law under the next administration,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Senate reopened consideration of the SSL bill to give way to the proposals of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to include retired military personnel in its coverage.
Marcos said he is studying the effect of changes in the proposed pay hike rates under the approved 2016 budget.
“While we need to have a fair rate hike for government workers we must also ensure our projected revenues can support such scheme and that we are not merely raising false expectations,” he said.