Supreme Court asked to force Sec. Diokno to release pay hike

MANILA, Philippines — A group of 50 government personnel yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the fourth and final tranche of salary increase, which state workers are supposed to receive today under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).
In a 28-page petition for mandamus, the petitioners led by House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya urged the high court to order Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to implement the salary upgrade, even with the government using a reenacted budget due to the delayed passage of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) by Congress.

The petitioners argued that the release of the funds for salary increase under Executive Order 201 signed by former president Benigno Aquino III in 2016 should be ministerial on the part of the DBM.

“There is no basis for the delay in the release and disbursement of funds as there are available alternative sources of funds for the fourth tranche of salary increase,” they stressed.

Andaya and company cited two alternatives for the DBM to cover the P42.7 billion needed for the pay hike: the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) and savings from the reenacted 2018 budget.

In the 2018 budget, the MPBF amounts to P99.446 billion, P62.8 billion of which is for compensation adjustment, while P12.36 billion is for staffing modification and upgrading of salaries.

“As can be seen above, only P42.705 billion is needed by the DBM to fund the fourth tranche of salary increase for 2019. Even if the DBM uses P75.169 billion covering allocations for compensation adjustment, it is still more than the P42 billion requirement for the fourth tranche of salary increase,” read the petition.  

“In fact, even if the DBM wishes to use the proposed 2019 GAA for MPBF, which amounts to P51.575 billion, it can still cover the required amount for salary increase,” it added.

The petitioners suggested that the DBM may get one-fourth of the required funding of about P10.676 billion “to cover for the first three months of the year, considering that the GAA may still be passed within the first quarter of 2019.”

As a second contingency, the petitioners said the DBM may utilize the savings under the reenacted 2018 national budget.

Lastly, the petitioners argued that the SSL – being a continuing program – should be automatically given allocation in the national budget and not depend on passage of the GAA for 2019.

The petitioners asked the SC to issue a preliminary mandatory injunction requiring the DBM to immediately release the fourth tranche of salary increases to government workers.

Source: philstar GLOBAL
Supreme Court asked to force Sec. Diokno to release pay hike Supreme Court asked to force Sec. Diokno to release pay hike Reviewed by DepEd Click Admin on January 15, 2019 Rating: 5

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