Salary woes-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
TO GIVE or not to give a raise, that is the question. Should members of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (PACE) get a raise? That is the question.
Unfortunately, PACE has become the collateral damage, the hostage to what I can only describe as efforts to make policy-making difficult for Negrenses.
The logic goes this way: most Board Members aligned with Vice Governor Genaro Álvarez Jr refused to pass the proposed 2013 budget proposed by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. pending further review by the SP Committee on Finance, saying they want to ensure where the money will be spent.
Okay, fine. Let them do that with a fine tooth comb. So why not do a Nike and simply do the review the soonest time possible? But we are now on the last month of the first quarter of 2013.
Provincial Board member Salvador Escalante, SP Finance Committee chair, insisted that while marathon hearings for the disapproved 2013 annual budget are always an option, the outcome might result in “half-baked reports.”
Funny, from out of the blue these BMs suddenly became financially prudent and judicious—so out of character compared to the past two years—or make that even earlier. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan never had any problem with its time management. Budget deliberations were always on time. Now it’s suffering from cramps for all their foot dragging.
And get this. Escalante said the SP cannot tackle any other matter except the disapproved budget for the next 90 days or three months. Oh so conveniently timed for the May elections!
In the meantime, we can expect local provincial governance to get paralyzed. No funds, no nothing. No hay dinero nada. ¡Nada, nada!
It doesn’t take too many brains to figure out that the provincial government would get blamed for non-performance. The question though is, who gets the rap? The provincial executive? Álvarez let the cat out of the bag. “When I become governor, I will see to it that the last tranche of their salary increase will be given, with differential. No ifs, no buts.”
Like Shakespeare in Hamlet, we ask “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles.”
Should PACE allow the struggles of life to overcome the outrageous misfortune of partisan politics? Or should it fight back with a persistent spirit so they can get paid the fourth tranche of their salary increases. I’m happy to note they’re up in arms against the sea of troubles at the Sanggunian.
For some reason, the BMs are diverting the issue to paying government employees retroactively without paying penalties for late GSIS remittances. The question is if the employees get paid with the right pay at the right time.
But when? I fail to see the justice where, as PACE said, “that provincial government retirees are being punished, instead of being rewarded for dedicating their lives in public service, their retirement benefits and lifetime pension were affected, depriving them of what is due to them.”
One doesn’t need the brains of a genius to agree with PACE that “what is clear to us is that, in all instances as earlier explained in our previous statement, the employees remain the victims of this political war.”
PACE President Engr. Ruben Diamante said at a press conference that PACE members hope the political war at the Capitol is set aside and the plight of the Capitol employees is addressed. “We are not taking sides, we are just pressing the cause of the employees who are the ones suffering from the non approval of the budget,” he said.
But as we learned from the Vietnam War, “collateral damage” came into use with friendly fire, and the killing of non-combatants and the destruction of their property. Or as the Simoun character in Rizal’s El Filibusterismo, to egg on the government employees to abuse the masses so that they would be driven to revolt against the provincial (read: the executive) government.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 28, 2013.