Andaya threatens to sue budget chief

Rolando Andaya Jr.

BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno will be facing charges if he fails to release the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) or the salary adjustment for state workers by January 15.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. said he will personally file a case with the Supreme Court against Diokno, who recently used the delayed approval of the 2019 budget as an excuse for the non-release of the salary increase.

“In case he is too proud to take an advice from a congressman, then we might just see each other in court. I will personally file a case for mandamus in the Supreme Court if the DBM will not implement the salary increase by January 15,” Andaya said.

Andaya  chided Diokno for using “every trick in the book” to rush the Senate and the House of Representatives into approving his pet projects under the proposed 2019 national budget.

Earlier, Diokno warned the delayed approval of the budget will affect the release of the last tranche of Salary Standardization Law or the wage adjustment of state workers.

“Now, the DBM is using scare tactics, warning that a delay in the budget’s approval will affect the release of the funds for the salary hike of soldiers, policemen, teachers and civilian employees,” Andaya said.

“My advice to Sec. Diokno: do not make the reenacted budget as an excuse in not implementing salary increases for our civil servants. The DBM has all the tools in pushing through with the salary increases this year,” he added.

The House leader reminded Diokno that the first round of salary increase for uniformed personnel in 2018 happened without a specific budget for it. The increase was not included in the 2018 budget proposal.    

Andaya also pointed out that considering the fact that the cash budget proposal this year is the same as last year, then a reenacted budget covers the needed funding for the salary increases.

The President’s decision to extend the 2018 budget under Joint Resolution No. 3 also gives DBM more spending authority.    

“If Sec. Diokno forgot how he did it, I invite him over lunch to explain how to do it,” he said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte should sign the pertinent documents for the release of the last tranche of salary adjustment for government workers, Andaya said as he warned the President that he might be used by Diokno as an excuse for not releasing the last adjustment for the salaries of state employees.

“The President may end up being blamed as the fall guy for the non-release as Sec. Diokno will simply say the President has not authorized the fund releases,” Andaya said.

The House leader is appealing to President Duterte to remind the DBM Secretary to transmit to the Office of the President all the documents needed to for the release of salary increases due this year.

Andaya said Diokno will be doing the country a great disservice if he fails to submit these documents to the President on time.

The President has to sign the pertinent documents in order for the salary hike to be implemented by January 15.

These are the same documents that the President signed last year for the first tranche of salary increases for uniformed personnel, at a time when the pay raise was still not included in the 2018 budget proposal.