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Andaya to Diokno: Wage increase in gov’t workers not dependent to national budget

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. reminded Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno that the Salary Standardization Law is not depended to the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Andaya’s statement came after Diokno’s latest pronouncement that it is unconstitutional for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to implement the fourth tranche of wage hike for government employees until such time that the proposed P3.757-trillion National Budget for 2019 will be finally approved by Congress.

“The increases are not GAA-dependent and are authorized by separate laws crafted by Congress and issued by the President himself,” said Andaya.

Andaya stressed that what is really unconstitutional is the fact that Diokno is delaying the release of the wage increase and using using the country’s civil servants “as pawns in his bid to avoid answering questions of public interest.”

“Sec. Diokno should release the pay increase for teachers in classrooms and other civil servants in government offices, which he has kept hostage,” said Andaya.

Andaya stressed that under the re-enacted budget, there is P100 billion allocated for salary increases under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF).

The House official noted that the 2018 MPBF is “double the amount of what is in the 2019 proposal.”

“Common sense for the Budget Secretary to use this amount to pay for salary increases due our civil servants… salaries of government officials as determined by existing pay scales are deemed in force regardless of the status of the national budget,” said Andaya.

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