Solon to PNoy: Give civil servants higher pay, not dubious ‘bonuses’

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio slammed the nearly P10 billion set in the 2013 budget for government workers’ Performance Based Bonus (PBB), saying that this is designed to mask the anti-worker stance of the administration.

He urged President Benigno Aquino to rechannel the amount for salary hikes for those in public service.

The progressive lawmaker noted that while Aquino packaged the P9.971 billion-worth item to appear as an “innovative” way to help solve the accountability and performance problems in government, it actually deflects attention away from civil servants’ demands for higher salaries.

Tinio pointed out that performance of agencies and of employees themselves are largely affected by the level of their salaries, and that content employees whose rights to living wage are respected are most likely to deliver efficient public service.

“Overworked yet underpaid public school teachers, who have been rendering service over and above the call of duty, for example, have long been knocking on the doors of Malacañang for their salary upgrading,” Tinio lamented.

Instead, PNoy dangles the minute possibility of a bonus if they ‘perform best, better, or good.’ They deserve a salary increase, not performance incentives.”

Tinio’s House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, has been lying dormant in the House Committee on Appropriations since September 2010.

Tinio also said that PBB discriminates against the majority of the workers in the civil service, as DBM admits that not all employees will be benefitted, and is based on questionable and subjective standards.

No guidelines have yet been issued on how agencies will determine who the “deserving” employees are, but Tinio predicted that the fund will be   dispensed by Aquino and DBM very much like the controversial Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and other discretionary funds.

“It could become yet another Presidential pork barrel.”

“Experience teaches us that PNoy and DBM have always been close-fisted and stingy towards workers.”

Tinio vows to move for the rechannelling of the P9.971 billion for salary hikes of civil servants, and to campaign inside Congress for another amendment of the Salary Standardization Law.

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