Duterte issues order to fund gov't workers' pay hike as 2019 budget remains pending

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2019 05:40 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2019 10:46 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order that would ensure government workers would get the last and fourth tranche of their salary hike despite the stalled 2019 national budget.

EO No. 76, which Duterte signed on March 15, amends a portion of EO No. 201 to state that the funding requirements for the compensation adjustment for this year shall be charged against “any available appropriations” under the 2018 budget, pending the enactment of the 2019 budget.

Under EO No. 201, issued by former president Benigno Aquino III, government workers were supposed to have started receiving the fourth and last tranche of the salary increase in January.

“There is a need to identify an appropriate funding source to cover the requirements for the implementation of the fourth tranche compensation adjustment for civilian government personnel scheduled in 2019 under EO No. 201,” the EO reads.

The impasse between the House of Representatives and the Senate have delayed the passage of the 2019 national budget.

The government is now on its third month operating on a reenacted budget.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo welcomed the executive order, saying Duterte “does not want to prolong the overdue salary increase that our public servants, who have been working tirelessly and silently for the last two months, have been looking forward to.”

Panelo also renewed his call for Congress to break the impasse on the budget.

“We reiterate our vigorous call to the two chambers of Congress to end this impasse on the budget with dispatch that the GAB (General Appropriations Bill) may finally be transmitted for [Duterte’s] review and approval to assist this government better the lives of our countrymen and help the nation move forward,” he said.