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By Prinz Magtulis, Philippine StarFebruary 27, 2016

Government agencies will obtain next week the first tranche of pay hikes for their employees, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced yesterday.
This means P57.91 billion will be subject to agency disposal any time to effect President Aquino’s Executive Order 201 that granted the first tranche of salary adjustments for state workers.
“This will ensure that they will get at least the first tranche of the pay increase that we have planned for them,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement.
“The Human Resource Office of agencies will, of course, need time to implement the procedures for salary adjustment and process the release of funds to employees,” he added.
The DBM also issued yesterday two circulars detailing the guidelines for EO 201 for both national and local governments.
Under the circulars, employee salaries will be adjusted retroactively to Jan. 1, 2016 for those who entered service by Dec. 31 last year.
As a result, Abad said salary differentials would be given to the 1.3 million civilian personnel, including those employed by qualified state corporations, to cover the first month of the year.
Consultants, contract workers and paid interns are not covered by the salary hike, the agency said.
“The EO effects the adoption of the same proposals in House Bill 6268 and Senate Bill 2671 for the salary increase, the grant of the mid-year bonus equivalent to one month’s basic salary and the Productivity Enhancement Incentive of P5,000,” the DBM said.
Military and uniformed personnel, meanwhile, were granted provisional and officers’ allowances in lieu of an increase in basic pay. Their hazard pay was also hiked to P390 per month from the original P240.
Disagreements on indexing military pension increase caused the delay in the signing of bills supposed to implement the pay adjustments.
The House of Representatives, where tax proposals are supposed to emanate, objected to the Senate’s move in the bicameral conference committee. Abad earlier said funds are not available for the pension hike.
The military allowances, in effect, are an “interim measure to supplement the total compensation” of uniformed personnel.
“(This is) until such time that a pension reform measure is passed in Congress that will mitigate the impact of pension indexation,” the DBM pointed out.
Funds for the increase were allocated under the P3.002-trillion national outlay.
For national agencies, money will be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund, while local government units will get theirs from their own budgets.
Government corporations qualified for salary hikes must source their funding from their own corporate operating budgets.
Abad earlier expressed confidence Congress will still be able to pass the Salary Standardization Law during its last session in May.
A coalition of labor groups yesterday called on presidential candidates in the coming elections to push for national minimum wage to help improve the lives of lowly paid workers nationwide.

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