Top performing gov't employees to get addt'l bonus but...

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2012 05:33 PM | Updated as of Nov 27 2012 01:33 AM

 MANILA, Philippines - Top performing government employees in national agencies will receive an additional bonus apart from the mandatory year-end bonus and cash gift. But there’s a catch: the government office they are working in should also perform well during the year.   

The Aquino administration has introduced the performance-based bonus (PBB) system that seeks to give a cash incentive to top performing employees in best-performing agencies. 

Unlike the yearend bonus and cash gift, the PBB is not a mandatory bonus for government employees. 

“We want to clarify though that the PBB is not an entitlement, neither is it a holiday bonus. In other words, not all government employees will receive it. At the same time, the PBB doesn’t distribute uniform amounts to everyone who performs well,” Budget Secretary Butch Abad said. 

Abad said there are four targets that a government agency should meet before its employees can be considered eligible to receive the cash incentive. This means, a government employee that performs well may not be able to receive the incentive if the government agency that he works in fails to meet certain goals.

Abad said the agency must have reached at least 90 percent of the “major final output” (MFO) targets and its priority program targets; posted all invitations to bid and contracts awarded under the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PHILGEPS); presented “an accurate liquidation of all its cash advances for the year on or before the deadline;” and posted a citizen’s charter in a conspicuous area in the office. 

A citizen’s charter shows the flow or the process that has to be followed to obtain a particular government service (e.g. a passport or driver’s license), the person responsible for each step, and the maximum time to complete the process. 

A top-performing government employee from a top-ranking agency may receive as much as P35,000. The amount will vary depending on the employee’s output. 

“His or her performance from January to December this year will be appraised against—these are the keywords—measurable, objective, and empirical set of criteria,” Abad said.

The PBB will be distributed to “to deserving employees from January to March in 2013.” 

The date of release will also vary depending on when an agency is expected to complete its targets. 

Abad said a task force will look into the government agencies’ compliance of the conditions. The task force will be composed of representatives from the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, and Presidential Management Staff. The Development Academy of the Philippines will serve as secretariat. 

With the program, the administration is hoping to reward meritorious performance of employees.  

“You’re dealing with a bureaucracy that’s standing on a very tenuous morale base because there is little fairness in the way bonuses are being distributed. Ilang empleyado na ba sa gobyerno ang nakita ninyong nagtatataray o nagsusuplado? Hindi kasi sila masaya. Morale is quite low in many government offices,” Abad said. 

"In other words, the current bonus regime offers few incentives to employees who work better and outperform themselves. Juan de la Cruz, your ordinary civil servant, is thinking: Bakit pa ako magpupursigi e si Juan Tamad nga diyan nakatatanggap din ng bonus? Pareho lang kami.”

"With the PBB system in place, however, we aim to truly shape up public service by also shaping up employee morale. How exactly does this work? When we link personal incentives to the actual performance of an employee and his delivery unit, we show government employees that good work will be properly rewarded, giving them a morale boost and leading the bureaucracy towards improved delivery of public services.”

The PBB will be sourced from an agency’s miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF).

“We more or less estimated how much this will cost and it will cost something like P9.97-billion—more or less. And so the money has been set aside for that… This is the MPBF in the national budget so it can be a little more or it can be a little less. But it’s about that range,” Abad said. 

Traffic enforcers belonging to the MMDA are included in the scheme but employees of local government units are not, given the LGU’s fiscal autonomy. Abad is hoping that LGUs will also introduce a similar way of rewarding performing government employees.