MANILA - Malacanang is keeping its distance from a proposal to increase the Philippine President's salary to one million pesos a month.
Instead, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the government should instead give priority to raise the salaries of public school teachers, soldiers, police officers and career government employees.
"Ang panukalang iyan ay kahawig ng patakaran sa bansang Singapore na kung saan ipinantay ang suweldo ng mga government officials sa suweldo ng mga corporate executives. Kailangan ding alamin ang buong halagang gugugulin at kung paano ito ililinya sa iba pang mga budget priorities ng pamahalaan, tulad ng public infrastructure at poverty reduction," he said.
The current salary of the President of the Philippines is P120,000.00.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is pushing for the passage of a Salary Standardization Law IV that would increase the pay of government employees, from those with the lowest government rank to that of the president.
Under Trillanes' proposal, those receiving salary grade 1 would see his salary go up from P9,000 a month to P16,000 while the president would see his monthly pay go up from P120,000 to P1 million.
Trillanes said increasing the salary of civil servants including bureau heads, cabinet secretaries, lawmakers, AFP and PNP personnel would help curb corruption. He added that making government compensation at par with the private sector would help attract the best minds to work in government.
“’Yung presidente ay hindi na pwedeng P100,000 lang ang suweldo niya. So itataas natin ito significantly. Ang ating proposal, i-raise ito up to P1 million. Then ganoon din ang mga cabinet secretaries. Yung cabinet secretaries would be slightly lower, mga 600 to 800 thousand pesos, a month. This way, pwede nating maengganyo ang the best and the brightest of the society para hindi na rin sila maengganyong kumuha doon sa kaban ng bayan dahil well-compensated ka na. Ganoon din ang mga generals tsaka mga bureau chiefs, they will be compensated accordingly.”
If passed, the increase would be done in phases and that it would not benefit lawmakers of the current Congress.