"WHATEVER is due to the government employees, we will give it."

This was the assurance Thursday, October 14, 2021, of Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson as he stressed that the salary increase for the provincial government employees is already included in the proposed 2022 annual budget.

Lacson submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan earlier this week the proposed P5.7 billion provincial budget for 2021.

Aside from salary increase, the governor also promised that the employee’s bonuses will also be given.

He, however, said the matter has yet to be discussed.

Renelo Lastierre, president of the Progressive Alliance of Capitol Employees (Pace), said the funds intended for the salary increase have already been programmed.

The provincial government has already started implementing the salary increase of employees based on the Salary Standardization Law, he said.

Under the law, all employees in the government whether they are regular or casuals are entitled to benefits although the amount may vary depending on their tenurity.

It may be recalled that the first tranche of the salary increase of the Capitol employees was released in January 2020.

Meanwhile, Lastierre disclosed that Pace welcomes the memorandum of agreement that will provide social security coverage for job order and contract of service personnel of the provincial government.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Lastierre said the MOA between the provincial government and the Social Security System (SSS) is a manifestation and clear pro-worker gestures of the provincial government.

He said this is expressly evident with the granting of benefits and protection not only to regular and casual employees but also to job orders and contractual or service workers.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its regular session on October 5, passed Resolution No. 0822 approving the MOA between the provincial government and SSS.

"These actions are clear and continuing policy under the administration of Governor Lacson,” Lastierre said.

Lastierre said the employees are happy working with the provincial government for the benefit of the Negrenses.

Employees classified as JOs and COS are not covered by the law creating the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS, he added.