P6.2B earmarked for govt workers’ Christmas bonus

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that every government employee would receive P5,000 Christmas bonus as early as the end of November as per the president’s directive.

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Called Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI), a total of P6.2 billion was allotted by the DBM as early Christmas bonuses for government workers as the budget agency earlier said that the early release would be for the workers to help their relatives in provinces hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) one month ago after the storm surge.

According to the DBM, the PEI was usually released by December for the past years but was released a month earlier this year to provide for “urgent needs” of government employees.

“[This is] to accommodate the urgent needs of government employees nationwide, particularly those stricken by a succession of severe calamities, including the more recent 7.2-magnitude [Cebu-Bohol] earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda,” the DBM said in a statement.

Besides the distribution of their year-end bonuses, we have also facilitated the advanced release of the PEI to government employees to help alleviate their plight and allow them to prepare for the larger expenses of the forthcoming holiday season,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

Over 1.2 million government employees would benefit from the release including all employees of departments or agencies, state colleges and universities and government-owned and -controlled companies, as well as uniformed or military personnel under the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

The DBM also reformed the PEI in terms of beneficiaries as employees who have rendered minimum of nine months services for the year—or January until October 31 of the year—can already receive the P5,000 compared to the previous years’ directive that beneficiaries would only include employees in service as of December 31.

“It also acknowledges the efforts made by our government employees to accomplish key goals and targets that the President set for our implementing agencies this year. Through the active contribution of their work in their respective agencies, many of our employees have indeed played a central role in fulfilling the administration’s commitments to the Filipino people,” Abad said.

DOLE employees get P10,000 each
Like the jolly old Saint Nick, President Benigno Aquino 3rd has his own list of those who are “naughty and nice.”

And for the “nice” employees of the Labor department, the president ordered the release of P10,000 anniversary bonus each.

“I believe that it is just fair to recognize and honor those who performed well in the service. That’s why I am happy to announce [the]approved P10,000 anniversary bonus for each employee of the DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment],” Aquino said.

On the other hand, the President made it clear that he was not as generous to other agencies whose accomplishments are “quite thin.”

He said that he could hardly sign the proposed bonuses for other agencies which he did not identify.

“I remember their accomplishments are quite thin,” he stressed. He also urged the Labor department officials to continue their “good work.”

The President’s announcement drew loud applauses and cheers from the surprised audience. Loud claps even distracted him when he was about to announce the bonus.

“Wala pa po ’yung amount. Eh 10 lang po yung sinabi ko. Pwede na ho ba yung P10?” he asked in jest to the delight of DOLE workers.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, he said, requested a bonus of P20,000 for each employee but Aquno explained it was beyond what is allowed by rules.

A few months ago, employees of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) were dismayed when instead of giving them an anniversary bonus, Aquino berated the leadership of the agency.

The President particularly lashed at former NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel who, he said, failed miserably in his job of irrigating farmlands and increasing outputs.
Nangel eventually left the agency.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo and Joel M. Sy Egco

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