MANILA - House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr. on Monday filed a petition before the Supreme Court to compel the Department of Budget and Management to release the 4th tranche of salary increase for state workers.
Andaya led about 50 government employees from the executive and the legislative in filing the class suit.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno had earlier said he has no legal basis to release just yet the 4th tranche of salary increase because Congress has yet to pass the 2019 budget.
Lawmakers failed to approve the P3.7-trillion expenditure plan before their Christmas break due to supposed insertions by the budget department.
But Andaya argued that the P100-billion in miscellaneous personnel benefits fund in the 2018 budget could easily cover the P42.7-billion worth of increases.
The release is covered by an executive order, he added.
"Huwag naman sana niyang gawin hostage ang sipag at pawis ng ating mga kawani ng gobyerno dahil ito nama'y legal at napapaloob sa isang executive order na ngayong taon ay pang-apat na nga na tranche na dapat nilang matanggap," he told reporters following the filing of the petition at the high court.
"Huwag niyang gawing dahilan ang reenacted budget dahil meron namang alituntunin na nakapaloob sa kanyang departamento para ibigay ito," he added.
About one million government workers will be affected by the non-release of the increase, supposedly set on January 15, Andaya said.
Diokno however assured the public that the salary increase for government workers will be implemented retroactively once the 2019 General Appropriations Act of 2019 is approved in February.