MANILA – Voting 14-0, the Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill increasing the salary of 1.53 million government workers in the next four years beginning in 2016.

Authored by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Finance committee chairperson Loren Legarda, the Senate Bill No. 3009 entitled Salary Standardization Law 2015 mandates a weighted average increase of 45 percent in the total compensation of all government personnel.

Drilon said the new pay scheme will encourage employees to stay longer in government and will boost their morale and productivity.

He said it will also stabilize key government posts and will address high turnover.

Under the bill, the government will spend Php225.8 billion over four years with Php57 billion has been allotted for its first year of implementation.

Drilon said the SSL2015 aims to introduce a new compensation scheme that will bring the pay system in the government closer to the prevailing rates in the private sector.

Drilon said the low pay rate is the main reason why the government could not keep its employees, as he expressed concern about the high turnover of positions in the government.

Citing a study commissioned by the Department of Budget and Management, Drilon said that the pay scheme in government is 45 percent below market.

”This is particularly true for professionals and middle managers in government who only get around 41% and 25% of market rates, respectively. It is only the sub-professionals in government that receive 50% or more of market rates,” Drilon noted.

Aside from the increases in the monthly salary of government personnel, the SSL2015 also introduces an improved set of allowances and benefits, such as a 14th month pay, a mid-year bonus, and an enhanced performance-based bonus which can be equal or double the monthly salary.

The Senate passed the SSL2015 on the same day the upper chamber ratified the proposed 2016 national budget amounting to Php3.002 trillion. Jelly F. Musico/PNA