Breakfast with Ben
Breakfast with Ben is a weekly informal and casual discussion of Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno with media to talk about the latest news on the budget, economic reforms and government policies.
January 14, 2019
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
DBM Executive Lounge, DBM, General Solano St., San Miguel, Manila
DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno
Implementation of 4th Tranche Salary Adjustment and Response to filing a petition for Mandamus
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From L-R: DBM Asec. Myrna Chua, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno and DBM Undersecretary Janet Abuel discuss the legal basis on the implementation of 4th tranche salary adjustment for government workers at the DBM Executive Lounge in Manila.(January 14, 2019)
- Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno held a special conference on the 4th tranche of salary adjustment earlier today. This is following the filing by House Majority Leader Congressman Rolando Andaya of a Petition for Mandamus to compel the release of the 4th tranche compensation adjustment starting January 2019.The budget chief, together with DBM Undersecretary Janet Abuel and DBM Assistant Secretary Myrna Chua, cited Section 11 of Executive Order (EO) No. 201, s. of 2016—the governing EO on the grant of compensation adjustments—which explicitly provides that the implementation of the salary schedule is “subject to appropriations by Congress.”
“The implementation of the 4th tranche compensation adjustment is on hold not because the DBM decided so, but because we are constrained by the provisions in the very same EO that authorized the compensation adjustment,” explained Usec. Abuel.
It was emphasized that Section 15 of the said EO, in identifying the funding source for the salary adjustments, provides that, “The funding requirements of the compensation adjustment in FYs 2017, 2018, and 2019 will be included in the proposed annual National Expenditure Program submitted to Congress for its approval. The DBM […] shall then be […] authorized to implement or adjust the compensation corresponding to the appropriations provided in the GAA.”
In light of these legal provisions, the DBM is merely implementing the clear provisions of the said EO. Contrary to claims that the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) may be used to cover the 4th tranche salary adjustment, the MPBF covers only the salary adjustment for 2018 and does not include any amount for the salary increase for 2019.
“Around 1.7 million personnel in the National Government Agencies, including military, police, and teachers are affected by the salary adjustment, with an estimate of 45-50 billion pesos to implement the 4th tranche,” Asec. Chua added.
In any event, the Petition is welcomed in order to settle the substantial dispute that exists in the interpretation of the provisions of the EO No. 201, s. of 2016 and the implementation of the 4th tranche compensation adjustment in view of the reenacted budget.
- Last Wednesday, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced that an additional salary hike for government workers is scheduled in 2020. This is following news that the fourth tranche of salary adjustments will not be implemented until the General Appropriations Act is legislated.
Nevertheless, the DBM chief assured that the fourth tranche salary adjustment will be implemented by February and government employees will be entitled to their salary differential.
“With pronouncements from Congress that budget bill will be their top priority upon resumption next week, we expect the GAA to be signed first week February,” the budget chief said.
In addition, the Governance Commission For GOCCs (GCG) is contracting an independent firm to conduct a study on the wage structure of government workers vis-a-vis their private sector counterparts. The DBM will be utilizing this data to craft a new salary schedule for government workers to be implemented starting 2020.
Funding for the conduct of the study has already been allocated to the agency budget of the GCG for FY 2019. Currently, the GCG is conducting Early Procurement for the independent researcher so they may proceed with the conduct of the study as soon as the 2019 General Appropriations Act is passed.
Results from the study are expected to be delivered by the independent firm before end of June this year. Consequently, the DBM will come out with a proposed salary schedule by the 3rd quarter of 2019.