MANILA — Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Tuesday that civilian government personnel as well as police and military will receive the second of the four-tranche salary hike beginning January this year.
“That is effective January first,” Diokno said during the regular Palace briefing, referring to the second tranche salary adjustment.
Diokno said the budget for the second tranche of salary adjustment for government workers was already included in the 2017’s PHP3.35 trillion national budget.
He failed to give the total budget for the salary adjustment but in 2016, Congress has appropriated PHP57.91 billion to cover the requirement to implement the compensation adjustment.
Under the first tranche, the more than 1.5 million public servants also received mid-year bonus equal to their one month salary, enhanced performance-based bonus or PBB, and productivity enhancement incentive.
On the other hand, the hazard pay or combat pay of the military and uniformed personnel (MUP) has increased by at least 200 percent, according to Diokno.
The DBM official, however, clarified that the second tranche of salary adjustment would still require congressional approval considering the first tranche was implemented only through Executive Order No. 201 signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in February last year.
“The previous administration had a downpayment in 2016 and we are going to honor it but there’s maybe a legal defect because it did not go through Congress. It was just incorporated in the budget,” he explained.
Diokno said the DBM had already submitted to the Office of the President a copy of the bill.
“Going by the behavior of Congress, they won’t object to a salary increase because it’s a popular move. You can bet Congress will agree to provide,” Diokno said.
Meanwhile, Diokno said the take home pay of the military will double by January 2018 if Congress will be able to tax reform measure reducing personal income tax from 32 to 25 percent.
“Your take home pay will increase if we reduce the take home from 32 to 25 percent. So at the latest January 18 and most likely sometime next year, given the tax reform,” he said.
Diokno explained that giving the military separate salary adjustment is difficult to do due a law which says that pension of the retired soldiers should be tied to the salary of the incumbent.
“Unless we fix that, there will come a time when maybe 70 percent of the budget of the military will just go to the pension,” Diokno said, referring to the law passed during the time of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
Diokno said the same salary adjustment for the military also needs congressional approval.
“There will be two types of salary structure for the military. Those who will come in after a certain date and those who are already inside. So that will be the kind of legislation that we have in mind,” he said.
In his previous military camp visits, President Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly promised to double the take home pay of the soldiers and police. PNA-northboundasia.com