Valencia: Salary increase could not be retroactive-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
THE Negros Occidental Provincial Government denied that the fourth tranche of the salary increase of the Capitol employees cannot be made retroactive, according to Governor Alfredo Marañon’s spokesperson.
In a press statement, Marañon's spokesman lawyer Jose Maria Valencia pointed out that Marañon had long convened the finance cluster and the legal minds at the Capitol to thoroughly study the retroactive implementation of the employees’ salaries.
Reacting to the statements by the Governor’s critics, Valencia revealed that the group formed by Marañon to look into the retroactive implementation of the fourth tranche had been studying for many weeks, including the prohibition contained in Section 325 paragraph G of the 1991 Local Government Code.
Section 323 of the Local Government Code states that “the creation of new positions and salary increases or adjustments shall in no case be made retroactive.”
“We had been silent with our study. We don’t have to brag that we are diligently looking for solutions because there is a need to study all angles. We also identified possible problems that may crop up, especially if the Commission on Audit opinion or decision runs counter with the spirit of the law. We believe that the COA should also be asked,” Valencia said.
Valencia cited the live interview with Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over Bombo Radyo where the DBM chief said he is not certain whether retroactivity of the salary increase effective January 1, 2013 is allowed if the annual budget approval has been delayed.
Secretary Abad said he will discuss the matter with the legal department of the DBM.
First, they barraged the airwaves with disinformation on the issue of sheep procurement, Valencia continued, adding that “today, after realizing that their propaganda is not working, they changed gears and again attacked the good governor on the salary increase’s implementation.”
“Why blame Gov. Marañon? They were the ones who caused all these problems by delaying the passage of the 2013 budget, and now they want to play hero? It’s too late to play hero now. They have not only held the plight of the 2,335 Capitol employees and their families hostage but also the close to 3 million Negrenses, who are waiting to be properly served by the government,” Valencia said.
The governor, Valencia explained, is a stickler to the provisions of the law, particularly the 1991 Local Government Code, because there are risks that come with violating it.
“Just because they are in possession of a DBM opinion, they will resort to knee jerk reactions and mount a propaganda campaign? We don’t run government via propaganda and empty statements. Take action. Walk the talk. If you claim, as you have been saying in media that your hearts also go for the entire Negros Occidental population and the employees, then do not hold the budget hostage. Let’s avoid giving our constituents lip-service. They deserve more than that,” the chief of staff said.
“How about delayed remittances? Just because the salary increase can be retroactive, they have resolved to delay the 2013 budget approval?” Valencia said.
Provincial Budget Officer Percival Salado echoed Valencia’s position, saying that more than the implementation of the retroactivity of salary the increase, they have to also take into account related concerns and join all issues.
Salado cited, among others, the delayed monthly remittance of GSIS premiums, with-holding taxes, penalties and surcharges because of the delay as well as differentials.
“Once retroactivity of the increase is affected, there will also be corresponding differentials. Who will pay for them? The burden now is with the employees. Penalties and surcharges will be compounded consequently. This situation will also have a bearing on the employees’ retirement benefits later on,” Salado said.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 16, 2013.