Government workers’ year-end bonuses out next week—Diokno

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Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno. INQUIRER file photo

Ahead of the Christmas holiday season, government employees will receive their year-end bonus and cash gift starting next week, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said Wednesday.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is mandated to release the 13th-month pay on Nov. 15, but as it is a non-working day due to the Asean Summit, government workers will get them on Nov. 16, Diokno told reporters.

The tax-free year-end bonus will be equal to one month’s basic salary, while the cash gift will amount to P5,000, under Budget Circular No. 2016-4 earlier issued by the DBM, Diokno said.

In all, P32.8 billion in year-end bonuses on top of P6.9 billion in cash gifts will be distributed, according to Diokno.

Employees at government-owned and/or -controlled corporations as well as agencies that were exempted from the Salary Standardization Law under Republic Act No. 6758, meanwhile, will not be covered as they have a separate Compensation and Position Classification System.

Previously, the 13th-month pay was given in two tranches—the first in May ahead of the opening of classes, and the second in November amid the Christmas holidays.

Last year, former president Benigno S. Aquino III signed Executive Order (EO) No. 201 mandating the grant to government employees during the month of May of a mid-year bonus or 14th-month pay equivalent to one month of basic salary.

EO 201 raised civilian workers’ salaries while also granting higher allowances to military and uniformed personnel.

In January, Diokno issued National Budget Circular No. 568 and Local Budget Circular No. 113 allowing agencies to adjust compensation retroactively effective last Jan. 1, the mandated second tranche of government personnel’s salary increase under EO 201.

The EO mandated compensation adjustments in four annual tranches starting last year until 2019.

Meanwhile, Diokno said they were working to complete the funding for the P64 billion needed to increase uniformed personnel’s salaries next year, as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Diokno said they already identified about P44 billion from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund.

“We still have to look for P20 billion in the (proposed) 2018 budget. And I think the Senate and the House have already agreed to tap funds in the 2018 budget proposal to augment, except I cannot tell you [from where],” Diokno said.

“Itaga mo sa bato, hindi lang pangako—talagang gagawin ‘yan (Mark my word, that is not just a promise—it will be done),” Diokno said of the pay hike for uniformed personnel.

In all, the average pay increase effective Jan. 1 next year across all the ranks will be 58.7 percent, the DBM had said. /jpv

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