05 September 2017
ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio scored the decrease in the funding for Performance-Based Bonuses (PBB) given to government employees at the plenary debates Monday for the 2018 budget of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). From P16 Billion in the 2017 General Appropriations Act, funding for PBB will go down to P11 Billion under the 2018 General Appropriations Bill.
The decrease is due to the issuance of DBM Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1, or the “Guidelines for the Grant of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for Fiscal Year 2017 under Executive Order No. 80, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 201, s. 2016.” The guidelines reduced the PBB starting 2017 to a range of 50% of the employee’s salary up to 65%. The benefit was a range of 1 month salary up to 2 months salary of the employee per Executive Orders 80 and 201.
“Can a mere Memorandum Circular of the DBM supersede an Executive Order issued by the President? We say that it cannot. This drastic reduction of the PBB therefore has a very questionable legal basis,” stressed Tinio. “Second, I raise this issue because this results to a diminution of a benefit already given to and relied upon by many government employees.”
The solon cited as example a government employee receiving Salary Grade 1, the minimum pay grade in government. “Ano ang maasahan ng ay pinakamababang sweldo sa gubyerno, yung mga nasa Salary Grade 1 o around P10,000 kada buwan? Magkano na ngayon ang maasahan nila? E dapat sana from P10,000 to P20,000 na PBB. Dahil sa memorandum, P5,000 na lang to P6,500.”
The solon stressed that they actually are against a system of performance-based incentives including the PBB for being divisive and discriminatory and because it is not given to all employees, among other reasons. However, government should not take away the benefits of government employees especially those receiving meager salaries.
Rep. Karlo Nograles, House appropriations chair and sponsor of the budget bill, said that DBM is currently evaluating whether or not the PBB is effective and should be discontinued or enhanced.
“Kung ang layunin ng DBM ay i-abolish na ang PBB dahil hindi lahat ay nakikinabang dito at para magbigay-daan sa isang sistema ng benepisyo na tunay na pakikinabangan ng lahat, siyempre susuportahan po natin yan,” Tinio answered. “However, tutol po tayo sa malaking pagbawas ng benepisyo ng PBB para sa kasalukuyang taon, 2017 at para sa susunod na taon. Ibig sabihin nito, sa halip na mas marami ang makinabang sa susunod na taon ay lalo pang mababawasan ang benepisyong ito.”
The solon ended by urging the DBM to follow what is provided by EOs 80 and 201 and not drastically reduce the PBB. He also called upon the Committee on Appropriations and Congress to listen to the demands of government employees for salary increase and a better incentive system that will cater every government employee without being divisive and discriminatory. ###