Low pay slowing Cabinet recruitment, Duterte says


MANILA – Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday recruitment for Cabinet positions was being hampered by lower salaries in government compared to the private sector.

The 71-year-old maverick mayor, who assumes office on June 30 with a vow to stamp out crime and corruption, has so far appointed secretaries of finance, economic planning, agriculture, public works and transportation among others.

“Ang problema ang pinagausapan kaagad yung swledo,” Duterte told reporters in Davao City, where he has served as mayor for decades.

“They are young men na gusto kong bunutin sa private sector. Ang problema, wag lang sila magalit, mukha din pera e. Nagtanong kaagad ng sweldo,” he said.

Duterte said the people who turned down his offer for government positions said they could not afford a pay cut because they were paying for their home mortgages and sending their children to school.

Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, sought to narrow the gap between private sector and state salaries to encourage more people to work in government.

Earlier this year, Aquino signed an executive order gradually increasing the pay of state workers. The order aims to bring government pay to at least 70 percent of their private counterparts. Aquino’s order also raised the salary of his successor to around P120,000 per month.

Duterte said the left gave him "very impressive" recommendations for the labor, agrarian reform, environment and social welfare departments.

The people on the list, he said, were from the University of the Philippines. He declined to name them.