By ERWIN COLCOL, GMA News, Sep 4, 2017
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is considering the removal of performance-based bonus (PBB) as part of the benefits being received by government employees.
The pronouncement was made by House appropriations committee chair Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles on Monday during the plenary deliberations of the proposed P3.8 trillion national budget for 2018.
“The DBM is currently evaluating whether or not the PBB should continue, should it be enhanced or should it be replaced by a different system,” Nograles, who sponsors the agency’s budget proposal, said.
During the plenary deliberations, ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio questioned the decrease in the miscellaneous and personnel benefits funds of the DBM, from P16.7 billion in 2017 to the proposed P11.63 billion in 2018.
“Mas malaki po ngayong taon kesa next year. Bakit po ganun?” Tinio asked Nograles.
“Because right now we’re currently reviewing the performance-based bonus,” Nograles replied.
Tinio cited the concern of some rank-and-file employees who merely get an increase in their salaries, while high-ranking officials get bigger salary increases.
“Ang sagot ng DBM noon, meron kayong relatively modest increase pero meron namang PBB,” he said.
Tinio also cited Section 5 of Executive Order 201, series of 2016, which states that the PBB for qualified government personnel will be given in an amount equivalent to one up two months basic salary.
However, Item 9 of DBM Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1, issued last March, states that the PBB rates will be based on the performance ranking of each employee’s bureau or unit, with the rate of incentive as a multiple of employees basic salary ranging only from 0.50 to 0.65.
“Bakit po mukhang hindi sumusunod sa EO 201 ang memorandum na ito?” Tinio asked Nograles.
Nograles, in response, affirmed the observations of Tinio, and said that the DBM is currently studying the “distortions” in the PBB.
“Ang evaluation nila, yung mga mas mataas na sweldo, mataas talaga ang nakukuha nilang performance-based, yung maliliit ang sweldo, mas maliliit talaga ang nakukuha nilang performance-based,” he said.
“Itong PBB kasi was conceptualized before the salary standardization. So right now DBM [is studying] kung yung PBB is still effective. Is it really something that enhances the performance of our government workers? Is it really fair or do we just rationalize the grants in a way na mabigyan natin directly ng additional sweldo para sa mga government workers and employees,” he added.
Nograles, however, assured that the implementation of the third tranche of the government’s salary standardization is included in the proposed national budget.
“‘Yung increase ng mga sweldo ng mga kawani ng gobyerno at yan ay nakalaan sa ating budget, sa third tranche ng ating Salary Standardization Law,” he said.
The House of Representatives on Monday began its week-long plenary deliberations for the proposed P3.8-trillion national budget for 2018.
In a statement on Sunday, Nograles said they will push the passage of the bill on third and final reading by Friday.
He added that they expect President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the proposed budget into law by November 15, assuming that it had been passed by the congressional bicameral committee before the date. —ALG, GMA News