12 November 2015
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
Aquino, Abad deceiving gov’t employees on SSL 2015
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio slammed Secretary Florencio Abad, saying that he presented to Congress and the public misleading figures at the hearing Wednesday on the proposed Salary Standardization Law 2015 (SSL 2015). The militant solon said that Abad and Malacañang are trying to cover up the fact that SSL 2015 will give only paltry salary increases for low-and middle-income earners.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad issued yesterday a press release headlined as “Pay of teachers, nurses to double under SSL 2015” (http://www.dbm.gov.ph/?p=14234). The Official Gazette also posted a similar announcement (“Proposed pay hike for public sector to up salary by 45%,”http://www.gov.ph/2015/11/09/public-sector-pay-hike-by-up-to-45/) .
At the hearing, Abad accused Tinio of “not presenting figures accurately…to make the teachers angry.” This after the lawmaker presented the a review of the new pay structure from Salary Grades 1 to 33 showing increases by as low as 11.46% only. (Table below.)
“If anyone is guilty presenting misleading information, it is not this Representation but Abad and the Aquino administration,” said Tinio. “To make it appear that government employees will enjoy better pay starting 2015, the DBM included the 14th month pay and the Performance Based Bonus (PBB) in its computations. The alleged 45% hike is therefore a bloated figure.”
Tinio explained that bonuses, though tax-exempt, have no bearing on retirement and other social security benefits like PhilHealth. He also said that the PBB bragged about by government is not granted to all employees but only to those who perform according to unreasonable standards set by an inter-agency group led by DBM, and at unequal rates.
Tinio proposed to the House panel to increase the proposed new salaries, with the necessary funds to be taken from the amounts set for the PBB. In answer to Abad’s objection and the worry that the increased pay will only be eaten by income tax, Tinio reiterated the overwhelming public demand for the administration to lower income taxes.
The four tranches of SSL 2015 will increase the monthly pay of entry-level teachers and nurses by a mere 11.89% within four years (P18,549 to P20,754 per month) while the lowest salary grade will increase by 22.98% (P9,000 to P11,068). Minimum pay for uniformed personnel in the DND, BJMP, BFP, PNP, PCG, and NAMRIA will go up by 12.26% (P14,834 to P16,597).
Tinio added that the increases are measly considering that it practically is an adjustment for seven years, or the period between the fourth tranche of SSL 3 in 2012 and the fourth tranche of SSL 4 in 2019.
On the other hand, salary hikes for Senators, House Members, and cabinet secretaries will be 186.45% (P90,000 to P257,809); 198.41% for the Vice-President, Senate President, and House Speaker (P103,000 to P307,365); and 233.41% for the President (P120,000 to P388,096). (See line graph below.)
“The ‘45% increase’ is clearly far from the truth for the ordinary teacher, nurse, soldier, or police in government who collectively make up about four fifths of the total government bureaucracy. Stripped off of the Palace’s bloated computations and media spin, SSL 2015 will grant the least salary hikes for the vast majority of government employees.”
“This unconscionably low increase after three years of a salary freeze is equally unacceptable and reprehensible as the deceit employed by Abad and Aquino to cover it up.”
Tinio also scored the administration’s framework of drafting the new pay scales to make public sector compensation more competitive to the private sector.
“It is not appropriate to use private sector salaries as benchmarks for the salaries of government personnel because the private sector offers relatively low pay to cut on labor cost. Government goods and services delivered are not and should not be profit-oriented/subject to competition.” ###
Source of basic data: Fourth Tranche of SSL 4 (HB 6268, pages 8-9)