July 19, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Government employees under the COURAGE government employees center reiterated their situation that their take-home pay is not even enough to take them home.
This, according to Ferdinand Gaite, COURAGE National President, was already the situation prior to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration for Inclusion. Now the burden is greater due to the drastic inflation of 5.2% reflected in the increase in oil products, rice, utilities, other basic commodities and school expenses after classes have again started. What the tax reform has done was to accelerate the reduction of our salaries and our inclusion in the roster of the impoverished, Gaite added.
The current minimum wage in the public sector is currently pegged at P10,510 monthly under Executive Order 201 or the Salary Standardization Law 4. However, salaries of employees in local government employees are even lower. According to the SSL, a 6th class municipality shall receive only 65% of the salaries compared to that of national government agencies therefore their minimum wage is lower at P6,831. Said amounts are a far cry from the monthly living wage of more than P33,000, according to Ibon Research.
Erwin Lanuza, National President of League of Local Government Units Employees (LEAGUE) criticized this exploitative and discriminatory policy against LGU employees. There are about 830,000 employees in the 1,715 LGUs and a significant figure of government employees can be found in 1st to 6th class municipalities whose salaries are lower at a range of 65%-90%.
Government employees criticized the Duterte administration for its one-sided priority saying that the government can double the salaries of police and soldiers but does not consider increasing salaries of civilian employees a priority. They demanded for a national minimum wage regardless whether they are in LGUs, NGAs, GOCCs and others and the amount should be at least P16,000 a month to cope with inflation.