COLA for gov’t employees sought

MANILA — Two lawmakers are pushing for the grant of a special economic assistance to enable even lowest paid government workers to cope with increasing costs of basic necessities.

Party-list Magdalo Reps. Gary C. Alejano and Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo jointly filed House Bill No. 6113, which seeks to grant a special economic assistance to be known as the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for all government workers in the amount of P5,000 to be implemented across-the-board, on top of the existing Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) previously granted for the same purpose.

The bill covers all civilian government employees whether employed by the national or local governments, appointive or elective, and whether occupying regular, contractual or casual positions, whose positions are 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, shall be covered by this Act.

The measure provides that the amount necessary for the grant of COLA for government employees shall be charged against the annual General Appropriations Act, particularly the Miscellaneous Personal Benefit Fund (MPBF) or any savings realized by the Government from the current GAA.

Alejano said in spite of the previous adjustments in the salaries of government employees over the last few years, their current income still fails to cope with ever increasing costs of basic necessities as reflected in the yearly increase in the consumer price index.

He said it is high time that these government workers be granted additional assistance to alleviate the effects of rising cost due to inflation in order to sustain decent living.

For his part, Acedillo said the State should always see to it that its workers are shielded at all times from the erratic economic conditions brought about by spiraling prices of basic goods and commodities in the county and in world market and other related factors.

Alejano said the grant of COLA could be the best alternative in case the national government is not yet ready at this time to implement another round of adjustment in the prevailing salary rates, as provided in the proposed amended Compensation and Position Classification Act or Salary Standardization Law No. 4 (SS4) of which he and Acedillo have also introduced in the present Congress.

He added that this piece of legislation could be the best compromise to fast track the implementation of a long overdue salary increase for government workers. Philippine News Agency/NorthboundPH