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Proposed salary hike for gov’t workers will have to wait

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is not inclined to give the proposed P6,000 increase in the minimum salary of government workers due to limited resources.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte acknowledged that they would like to extend a reasonable wage hike for the state workforce but cannot afford it for now.

“As much as we would like to give an increase, we have limited resources. With the limited resources that we have, the President channels these resources to urgent needs of the people,” she said during a news conference in the Palace.

“As government workers, they should also know that our salary is based on SSL (Salary Standardization Law III). We have seen the President’s gesture before when he ordered an early increase of the third tranche according to the SSL,” she added.

A group of government workers have announced plans to step up the drive for a legislated P6,000 hike in minimum salary for state employees. The group, called WAGE FIGHT!, declared September 28 as “National Day of Action for Wages and Benefits”, a day packed with protest actions demanding higher salaries for government workers.

Valte, however, warned that government employees who join protest actions during office hours may face “consequences”. She left to department heads to deal with workers who skip work and affect public service. “If we walk out from work, what will happen to the people who need our assistance?” she asked.

A bill allowing a P6,000 increase in the minimum pay of salary workers is currently pending at the House of Representatives. The measure was proposed by Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano.

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. also filed Senate Bill 2928 proposing the same salary hike for state workers.

The fourth and last tranche of the SSL III-mandated salary hike for state workers would be implemented next year. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)