Gov’t pay hike retroactive

A HOUSE leader assured state workers that the new round of salary increase retroacts to the start of the year.

Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts and Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor denied reports that many personnel of the bureaucracy have not yet received the pay hike granted them under Republic Act No. 11464, which contains the new four-year salary upgrading in the public sector.

Reports said among those who are yet to get their salary increase are nurses in specialty hospitals in Quezon City.               

“The law is clear. Though President Duterte signed it on January 8, RA No. 11464 states that it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020. This means that government workers lose nothing, as they will eventually receive their pay hike,” Defensor said.

He said it is possible that state agencies are just waiting for guidelines from the Department of Budget and Management or for funds before paying the increase.

The law entitles nurses in hospitals run by the national government to an increase of almost P11,300 in their basic monthly salary starting this month.

The House of Representatives and the Senate have set aside P3.2 billion in the national budget for this year for this purpose.

Defensor pointed out that the two chambers also included in the budget law a special provision mandating the government to pay the nurses’ salary adjustment “in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court in Ang Nars Party-list vs Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 215746 pursuant to Section 32 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9173 (Philippine Nursing Act of 2002). In its ruling October 2019 penned by then senior associate justice Antonio Carpio, the high court said government nurses are entitled to Salary Grade 15 as provided for under the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, instead of Salary Grade 11, which is the pay level they are currently receiving. Salary Grade 11 entry-level pay is P20,754. Salary Grade 15 is P11,299 higher at P32,053 under RA No. 11466 or Salary Standardization Law 5.

However, he said the salary of nurses in hospitals run by local government units should be adjusted too because they are also a vital component of the program’s implementation.