Monday, June 29, 2009

Update on EO 366

As of June, 2009 the DBM has approved the Rationalization Plans (RPs) of 54 agencies consisting of seven (7) department-level entities; 18 attached agencies; 15 executive offices; and 14 GOCCs. The seven (7) departments with approved RPs are CSC (among the first to implement in 2006), Office of the President, Office of the Vice President, DOLE, DOST DOT, and DBM (RP approved on May 8th).

The RPs of eight (8) departments with complete submission namely: DAR, DepEd, DOH, DND, DPWH, DTI, NEDA, OPS - are still under evaluation. In addition six (6) other departments: DA, DENR, DOF, DOJ, DILG and DOTC have partially submitted their respective RPs. DFA, DOE and DSWD are not required to submit their RPs as these departments have already implemented their own rationalization programs prior to EO 366.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The long-awaited SSL3 - NOW NA!

The President, before leaving for an official visit to Japan on June 17th, signed two (2) very important issuances: Joint Resolution No. 4 and Executive Order No. 811. Both issuances dwell on the same subject matter - the Modified Compensation and Position Classification System commonly referred to as SSL 3.

Joint Resolution No. 4 is the the duly enacted harmonized version (after having gone through the Congressional bicameral conference committee) of Joint Resolution No. 36 of the House of Representatives and Joint Resolution No. 26 of the Senate. EO No. 811, on the other hand, implements the first tranche of the rounds of salary increases authorized under JR No. 4.

Four-gives starting July 1st for NG personnel. This means national government personnel are already assured of the first tranche of their pay hike starting July 1st this year. EO 811 has prescribed a salary schedule for this. The salary differential is computed: adjusted salary rate in the modified salary schedule (same grade, same step) minus salary rate as of June 30, 2009 divided by 4.

Why January 1, 2010 for LGU personnel? The sponsorship speech of Senator Angara on the Senate version of the joint resolution revealed that local officials themselves lobbied before Congress for the deferment of the implementation of SSL 3 to January 1st of 2010.

The details of how EO 811 will be implemented shall be spelled out by the DBM in the corresponding budget circulars.

Monday, June 08, 2009

SSL 3 in the offing.

Congress has finally completed the finishing touches on the Modified Compensation and Position Classification System or SSL 3, shortly before its scheduled recess on June 5th.

The salary standardization measure officially known as Joint Resolution No. 36, was passed by the House of Representatives on May 21st. The same measure was passed by the Senate on May 28th with a few but significant revisions. After which the bicameral conference committee met to harmonize both versions of the Joint Resolution. The bicameral conference committee report by June 3rd.

Here are some of the most important features of the Joint Resolution:

Title - "JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO MODIFY THE COMPENSATION AND POSITION CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM IN THE GOVERNMENT AND TO IMPLEMENT THE SAME INITIALLY EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2009, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES". The word "AUTHORIZING" was inserted in lieu of "URGING" as originally proposed, the reason being that the power to prescribed a standardized compensation scheme is vested with Congress but is being delegated to the President.

Salary Schedule - The 33 salary grade system is maintained with the same eight (8) steps per salary grade (SG-1 is just the same, allocated to Utility Worker 1 and SG-33 being assigned to the President). From the original proposal of P8,000 monthly minimum rate, JR 36 increases said minimum rate to P9,000 per month.

Effectivity - For the national government, GOCCs and GFIs, the salary increase takes effect July 1, 2009. For LGUs, the effectivity is moved to January 1, 2010. This is surprisingly different from the DBM proposal as contained in the draft joint resolution which is July 1st.

Mode of Implementation - For the national government, the implementation of the salary difference (present rate of the incumbent vis-a-vis the adjusted rate in the same step and salary grade in the revised salary schedule) shall be spread equally in four (4) years. In the case of GOCCs, GFIs and LGUs, the same computation of salary differential shall be applied except that the implementation period shall be dependent on their finances but should at least be carried out in four (4) years. This means that GOCC, GFI and LGU personnel would be able to receive in full their salary increase beyond the four- year period as their finances warrant and that the salary differentials may vary from year to year.

Total Compensation Framework - The joint resolution classifies the compensation received by government personnel into four (4) categories namely: Basic Pay including Step Increments, Standard Allowances and Benefits, Specific-Purpose Allowances and Benefits and Incentives.

No diminution in pay - The joint resolution guarantees that there will be no diminution in benefits being received and those yet to be received by government personnel. Some benefits however, such as hazard pay, need to be rationalized.

Reinvention of some benefits - The step increment due to meritorious performance shall be revived but the Productivity Incentive Bonus (PIB) will be done away with. In the same manner, the "Extra Cash Gift" or "Performance Bonus" shall be replaced by "performance Enhancement Incentive". The CNA incentive is retained but this will no longer be charged against savings. As introduced by Sen. Mar Roxas, the funds needed to pay CNA Incentive shall be provided for in the yearly budget.

Bad news for LGUs - As initiated in the House of Representatives and concurred by the Senate, the salaries of LGU personnel shall be determined by their respective Sanggunians, and if their finances warrant, salary or wage increase may be granted subject to the personal services limitation prescribed in the 1991 Local Government Code.