Group presses salary increase for rank-and-file state workers


The Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) on Monday urged lawmakers to prioritize the security of tenure, salary increase and other benefits of rank-and-file employees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group issued the challenge to Congressmen Paolo “Polong” Duterte and Eric Go Yap, authors of House Bill 9962 (HB 9962), or the Career Executive Service (CES) Recognition Bill.

HB 9962 seeks to increase the salaries, benefits and special allowances of CES members, or career officers with the ranks of undersecretary, assistant secretary, bureau director and the like.

“While we ordinary public sector employees do recognize the effort and importance of career executives, officers and administrators in these crucial times, we assert that lawmakers, including Representatives Duterte and Yap, should prioritize first increasing the salaries of the mass of public sector employees, granting security of tenure particularly for personnel still in contractual status, and ensuring that all employees are duly-compensated for risking their lives just to be of service in the frontlines,” Courage National President Santiago Dasmariñas Jr. said in a news statement.

The group claims that the salary grades stipulated in the Salary Standardization Law 5  implemented  in January 2020 does not account for the “elephantine” inflation and economic crisis due to Covid-19, thus, any increase intended, especially for the lower salary grades already been eroded by the value of the skyrocketing prices of basic necessities.

The group also condemned the continuing government policy on contractualization as “atrocious,” especially that a significant number of public sector frontliners are still on contract-of-service (COS) and job order (JO) statuses.

“It is high time that our congress representatives and senators immediately formulate and approve policies for the P16,000 National Minimum Wage, hazard compensation and related benefits, and security of tenure for all public sector employees. Our elected policymakers should be appalled that there are frontliners, especially our fellow employees in public healthcare, who still are contractual, and complain of salaries and hazard compensation dwarfed by the price hikes of the increasing necessities amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Dasmariñas added.

Members of Congress, the group added, should swiftly approve Makabayan Bloc’s House Bill 9922, which introduces a P3,000 monthly inflation adjustment Allowance for government employees.

“At the very least, we call on our lawmakers to immediately legislate House Bill 9922. In these very desperate times, the P3,000 monthly allowance is already alleviating for the majority of public sector employees suffering the skyrocketing prices of commodities” said Dasmariñas.

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