by Homer R. Jajalla
THE BICAMERAL conference committee approved Monday the reconciled version of the House and Senate bills upgrading the salaries of all 1.1 million government workers effective July 1, 2009.
The measure also authorizes local governments to upgrade their salary grades, salary rates, grant of allowances, benefits and incentives starting January 1, 2010.
First class cities can increase the pay of their officials by 100 percent and first class municipalities, by 90 percent.
On the other hand, sixth class cities and towns can have a higher pay of their officials and employees by not more than 75 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
Under the new salary hike scheme, all bonuses should now be based on performance and not on savings. The so-called year-end bonus is also scrapped.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate panel, said this provision would correct the ongoing “anomaly” where government agencies misdeclare some funds as “savings” to be distributed to employees as bonuses.
“From now on, bonuses will be given only for exemplary work of government employees,” he stressed. (Mahinog Municipal Information Office)