MORE than 2,000 employees of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental are now set to receive their full mid-year bonus or 13th month pay this month totaling to P80.76 million as part of the partial implementation of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 4.
During the regular session Wednesday, the Provincial Board (PB) unanimously approved the resolution giving Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. the authority to partially implement the salary standardization.
Second District Board Member Miller Serondo, chairman of PB committee on personnel and human resources, pointed out that the province cannot fully implement the SSL 4 since it has already reached the budget ceiling for the personal services.
Serondo, however, said that under Section 10 of Executive Order 201 of the Office of the President, partial implementation can be done provided there is an authority from the PB.
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.
“Last year, we only gave one-half of the 13th month pay in May. For this year, we will be giving the full amount, which is already included in the province annual budget,” Serondo said.
On top of the mid-year bonus, the partial implementation of SSL 4 also covers the provision of the 14th month pay, also amounting to P80.7 million, cash gift and productivity enhancement incentives (PEIs) each worth almost P20.84.
Jose Percival Salado, provincial budget officer, who attended the session yesterday, said that the 14th month pay, which will be given in November, will come from the Capitol’s savings under the general fund.
The P5,000 cash gift and PEIs for each employee will be given in November and December, respectively. It will also be sourced out from the savings of the general fund, he added.
“As long as we have the authority from the SP, we can implement all these benefits. In fact, if our funds cannot allow the full implementation, we can partially implement the SSL4 in a uniform rate,” Salado said.
In terms of salary increase, Salado said that the province cannot implement yet the new salary rate as it is already over the cap, which inhibits requests for supplemental budget.
Supposedly, if the province can fully implement the salary standardization, the Capitol employees may receive their salaries in retroactive scheme, he said.
SSL 4 increases the salary of about 1.6 million government workers by an average of 27 percent.
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.