Calls to increase PERA intensify

MANILA, Jan. 22 — The move to increase to P4,000 the P2,000 monthly Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) granted to government employees is fast gaining ground in the House of Representatives.
This as ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio filed House Bill No. 5662 seeking the timely increase of the PERA to supplement the basic compensation of state workers due to the rising cost of living.
“An increase in the PERA will offer government personnel more substantial relief from the erosion of the purchasing power of public sector salaries and wages,” he said.
Tinio said the PERA was first granted to government employees in 1991, in the amount of P500 per month. An additional compensation of P1,500 was given by virtue of Joint Resolution no. 4 issued by Congress on June 17, 2009 totaling to P2,000.
“The PERA is granted monthly to all public sector employees, whether paid on salary, wage or base pay basis across all agencies. This benefit is considered as a supplement to their basic compensation,” he said.
Under the measure, the augmentation of the PERA shall be referred as the Augmented Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (APERA).
This shall be granted to civilian government personnel whether employed by the national or local governments, appointive or elective, and whether occupying regular, contractual or casual positions covered by Republic Act No. 6758, otherwise known as the “Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989,” as amended, as well as military and uniformed personnel.
However, government personnel stationed abroad already receiving overseas allowances are not entitled to APERA.
For the first year of implementation, Tinio said, the funds for the APERA of national government agencies shall be charged against savings, which include unreleased appropriations and other programmed appropriations.
The amount shall be included in the annual General Appropriations thereafter.
Meanwhile, the budget for local government units (LGUs) shall be charged against their local funds and any deficiency shall be charged against the balances of their Internal Revenue Allotments (IRAs), which are authorized to be realigned for the purpose. The amount necessary for the APERA shall thereafter be provided in their respective local budgets.
HB 5662 mandates the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to issue the implementing rules and regulations for the effectivity of this Act. (PNA)