Parity in pay for LGU workers pushed

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PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd’s signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 201, adjusting the salaries of government personnel, both civilian and military, is a welcome development but unless the share of barangays, towns, cities and provinces from national tax collections is increased government workers won’t be able to feel the pay hike, Senate president pro-tempore Ralph Recto said Sunday.

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Recto, chairman of the Senate finance subcommittee, noted that raising the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of LGUs is the only way for local governments to meet the financial cost of the Salary Standardization Law IV (SSL IV), which the president effected through EO 201 on February 19.

Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, provides that the LGUs shall have a 40-percent share from the national government’s internal revenue collection.

The 40 percent share of the LGUs is distributed as follows: 23 percent for provinces, 23 percent for cities, 34 percent for municipalities, and 20 percent for the barangays.

Recto wants the LGUs’ share raised to 50 percent “under an equal 50-50 split” with the national government.

The senator is also pushing for the inclusion of the taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the computation of revenues, which will be plowed back to the 81 provinces, 114 cities, 1,490 municipalities and 42,028 barangays.

“Under EO 201, 4th class towns are only allowed to grant an increase equivalent to 80 percent of what is prescribed in EO 201. Employees of 6th class towns are only entitled to a maximum of 65 percent,” Recto said.

This means that a Nurse 1 who is supposed to be getting P19,077 a month under the pay increase will only be getting P12,400 a month if he or she is working as nurse in a 6th class town.

Malacañang earlier said that the compensation adjustment strategy will ensure that the compensation structure of government personnel is comparable with the prevailing rates in the private sector.

Recto said there is a need for LGU employees and national government employees to have “parity in pay” and enjoy the same benefits.

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