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ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio urged the House of Representatives to reconsider its approval on second reading of the Salary Standardization Law 2015 (SSL 2015), or House Bill 6268, and admit his proposal to increase the salaries for the bulk of government employees.  The bill is calendared for third and final reading by the Lower House starting Monday.
“The House approved SSL 2015 without changing even slightly the paltry hikes proposed by MalacaƱang for the vast majority of those working in government,” said Tinio.  “After three years of not having salary increases, hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file government employees are furious that Congress gave its stamp of approval to this highly unjust bill.”
In his debates against the bill, Tinio revealed that SSL 2015 will increase the basic salaries of teachers and nurses by a measly P2,205 over four years, or 11.89% higher than their current pay (entry-level, Salary Grade 11, from P18,549 to P20,754).  This amounts to additional finances of only P24 per day for these professionals.
Rank-and-file police, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel will be granted an increase of only 12.26% (entry-level, from P14,834 to P16,597).
“We recognize that SSL 2015 will indeed grant a substantial increase in the total compensation because, on top of a relatively small salary increase for low and middle income earners, other compensation in the form of the 14th month pay and an Enhanced Performance Based Bonus (PBB) will be given,” Tinio clarified.  “But the resounding demand of majority of our government employees is for substantial increases in their monthly salaries.”
Tinio explained that bonuses, though tax-exempt, have no bearing on retirement and other social security benefits.  He also said that the PBB bragged about by government is a one-time bonus and is not guaranteed to all employees but only to those who perform according to unreasonable standards set by an inter-agency group led by DBM, and at unequal rates.  Said Tinio, the PBB is already widely protested by government employees as an oppressive and divisive incentive scheme intended to appease their demand for salary increases.

“In fact, government teachers, nurses, police, soldiers, and other employees will receive the lowest salary increase under Aquino’s SSL 2015, ranging from 11% to 22% over the next four years.  On the other hand, salary increases for top officials run to as high as 186.45% for legislators and cabinet officials and even a whopping 233.12% for the President of the Philippines.”

“It is clear that when it comes to basic pay, government employees in the lowest up to the middle-level positions are disadvantaged while those occupying higher positions are greatly favored under the proposed SSL 2015 of President Aquino,” stressed Tinio.Tinio urged the Lower House to increase the proposed new salaries, with the necessary funds to be taken from the amounts set for the Enhanced PBB.  Higher basic pay, said Tinio, will better benefit the people in terms of everyday finances and retirement unlike additional bonuses.
Tinio called on his colleagues to reopen debates on second reading and entertain amendments instead of approving it on third reading at the plenary session this Monday. 
PRESS RELEASE23 November 2015
Reference:  ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

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