Salary hike for gov’t employees too measly – KMU

February 20, 2016

By KMU

We condemn the meager salary increase approved by Pres. Noynoy Aquino for the majority of government employees through Executive Order No. 201. If Aquino thinks this measure would earn brownie (pogi) points for presidentiable Mar Roxas, vice-presidentiable Leni Robredo, and his Liberal Party candidates, then he is sorely mistaken. Aquino and his candidates should earn nothing but anger for this measure.

The salary increase for those in Salary Grade 1 from P9,000 to P11,068 is very meager. P11,068 is just 34 percent of the P1,089 Family Living Wage at present multiplied by 30 days (P32,670). It does not even match P12,506, which is the legally-mandated minimum wage for Metro Manila workers at present computed monthly (P481 daily multiplied by 26 days), despite the Aquino government’s claim that the EO aims to bring the salaries of government employees closer to the wages of private-sector workers. In the first place, private-sector workers’ wages are very low and don’t deserve to be the standard by which salaries of government employees should be measured.

The 23 percent increase in the minimum pay of government employees is of course no match to the 223 percent increase in the salary of the president of the Philippines. It’s the top government officials who will benefit the most from EO 201. It is their salaries, not those of the majority of government employees, that are being made at par with those of their counterparts in the private sector. This is most unjust given the already-huge disparity between the income of ordinary government employees and top government officials. This is even more unjust because employment in the government should be about the desire to serve the public, not to pocket huge salaries.

We stand with government employees, who are our brothers and sisters, in fighting for a National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly. This would counter various schemes that attack minimum pay for government employees. This would bring their salaries to 50 percent of the FLW, and definitely closer to the latter. This should cover contractuals among government employees, whose ranks continue to expand. This should cover employees of local government units who were discriminated against by the Salary Standardization Law and continue to be discriminated against by EO 201.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general, 0999-4499794