Press Release
February 19, 2016

Statement on the Executive Order on Pay Hike of Government Employees

  • Executive Order (EO) 201 makes the provisions of the deadlocked bill on SSL IV permanent. It does not merely implement the congressionally-authorized funding for the first tranche but prescribes a new pay classification system, which must be funded in the coming years. This cancels the need for the bill's re-filing. There are legal precedents in the exercise of this presidential prerogative. Public sector pay hikes were effected via the executive route from Marcos to Arroyo.

  • The EO does not diminish nor delete hard-won Magna Carta benefits of teachers, nurses, doctors and other health workers, social workers, scientists, engineers, researchers and other science and technology personnel. The poison provisions in the SSL IV bill which could be interpreted that Magna Carta benefits will be reduced or abolished have been excised. The President must be commended for addressing the concerns of his affected co-workers in government.

  • The EO also covers local government workers. The financial requirements for the salary adjustments, however, are beyond the capacity of many towns to grant. For example, 4th class towns are only allowed to grant an increase equivalent to 80 percent of what is prescribed in EO 201. Employees of 6th class towns are only entitled to a maximum of 65 percent. Many towns, in fact, do not have the resources to even grant half of the new rates. The solution to this, and to other non-salary funding challenges LGUs confront is to raise their IRA share to 50 percent, from the present 40 percent.

  • The next president will have a salary of P399,793, effective January 1, 2019.

  • The pay hike for policemen, soldiers, firemen, jail officers, Coast Guard personnel is booked as "provisional allowances". As the EO explicitly states, it is an "interim measure" until their Base Pay is rationalized. I urge that a law on this be immediately passed for the benefit of military retirees whose pension is proportionately pegged to the salary of those in the active service.

  • Because the option to augment the compensation of low-ranking teachers, policemen, and soldiers is now closed because the EO fully implements the provisions of the SSL IV bill, the recourse available is to grant them an additional tax-free Personnel Economic Relief Allowance either by an act of Congress or an executive fiat.

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