SENATE President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd has filed a bill that will grant hazard pay to all public prosecutors.
He filed on February 21 Senate Bill 1700 or the Hazards Pay for Public Prosecutors Act which proposes a hazard pay to government lawyers equivalent to 25 percent of their monthly basic salary.
“We have granted hazard pay to various government personnel whose work entails perils to life and limb, such as our soldiers and law enforcement agents, because of the nature of their functions,” Pimentel said.
“For the same reason, the perils that our public prosecutors face in performing their functions justify the grant of hazard pay,” the Senate chief said.|
The budget for the implementation of the measure would come from the appropriations from the National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
“While hazard pay will not in itself address the dangers that our public prosecutors face, it is both a modest step toward protecting their independence and a recognition of their invaluable contribution to the administration of justice,” the senator said.
He noted that public prosecutors play a vital role in the criminal justice system. Apart from prosecuting a case, they handle inquests and investigations and decide in the first instance whether a complaint should be brought to court.
“In the course of their duties, they come face to face with persons charged with offenses ranging from the likes of malicious mischief to murder,” he said.
“They carry the State’s burden to ensure that justice is done, that those who break the law are made to answer for their crimes,” Pimentel said.
In discharging this burden, it is “inevitable” that public prosecutors committed to their duties invite the ire of the people they investigated or prosecuted, he said.
“Tragic examples of public prosecutors being ambushed and gunned down abound. Those that survive attacks remain either injured or traumatized,” Pimentel said.