President Benigno Aquino 3rd refused to certify the bill raising salaries of all government workers because he was mad because of the insistence of Congress leaders to pass a measure that seeks to lower income tax rates.
A source close to both parties disclosed that Aquino was angry at Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon for pushing the bill lowering income tax rates, making him look bad in the process.
Belmonte and Drilon earlier met with the President to convince him to support efforts to adjust tax rates.
The proposed Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015, on the other hand, increases the salary of all government workers on top of granting them a 14th month pay.
“The bill on salary hike is supposed to be submitted to Congress a little later, but still within this year. But Secretary Abad somehow convinced the President to make the submission earlier because the hike is already funded in the 2016 budget, and the opposition could use this delay against the administration with the elections looming,” the source said, referring to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.
“You see, the SSL for 2015 was eventually approved on second reading in the House [of Representatives]. But to express his dissatisfaction over efforts of prodding him to support the lowered income tax rates, he (Aquino) did not certify the SSL as urgent,” the source added.
Had the President certified the SSL as an urgent measure, Congress would be able to approve it on third reading.