Capitol cannot implement salary hike yet - Escalante

THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental cannot implement yet the additional compensation for its employees as provided by the recently- approved Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 4 since the Provincial Board (PB) has not yet received a supplemental budget request.

This was stated Wednesday by Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., chairman of the PB committee on finance, budget, and appropriations.

The SSL 4, which was approved by President Benigno Aquino III through an executive order on February 19, seeks to provide higher compensation for all government officials and employees, including nurses, teachers, and soldiers.

It increases the salary of about 1.6 million government workers by an average of 27 percent.

“In the case of the province, the PB has not yet approved, or even received, any supplemental budget request thus, in effect, we cannot yet implement the salary standardization,” Escalante said.

He further said that all local government units are enjoined to implement the salary standardization provided there is an available fund.

“I believe the province is prepared for this, since during the passage of the 2016 annual budget there is already an appropriation intended for the salary increase,” Escalante said.

He pointed out that the Provincial Budget Office, which is under the Office of the Governor, determines the availability of funds and not the PB.

“If ever the implementation starts following an approved supplemental budget request, hopefully before the first quarter ends, it will be through retroactive scheme,” the board member added.

The measure mandates a “four-year P226-billion compensation increase for the national government’s 1.53 million civilian, and military and uniformed personnel.”

Its compensation package for government employees includes an average 27 percent increase in the basic salary, an eight percent increase in the mid-year 14th month pay, and an enhanced performance-based bonus system. (EPN)
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