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President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the bill implementing the fifth round of salary increases for government workers.

In a December 13 letter addressed to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Duterte sought for the immediate enactment of Senate Bill 1219 titled “An Act Modifying the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel and Authorizing the Grant of Additional Benefits, and for Other Purposes.”

A copy of the letter was furnished to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Head Secretary Adelino Sitoy.

“To address the need to further invigorate public service with efficiency and productivity by providing all government civilian personnel a just and equitable compensation responsive to their economic needs,” Duterte said in the letter.

Under the bill, the salary adjustment will be implemented in four tranches starting January 2020 and shall increase by a weighted average of 23.24 percent every year until 2023.

It grants government employees under Salary Grade (SG) 10 to SG 15 the highest increase, ranging from 20 to 30 percent while those under SG 23 to 33 would have the lowest increase of 8 percent.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., the sponsor of the bill, said more than 1.4 million government employees, including public teachers and nurses, will benefit from the proposed measure.

Around PHP34 billion was allocated for Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5’s implementation under the proposed 2020 national budget.

Earlier, House appropriations committee and Davao 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab said his panel will ask the President to certify House Bill 5712 as urgent.

In his fourth state of the nation address (SONA) on July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to pass the next round of salary increases for government employees.

Malacañang earlier said that all “[government] workers should be happy” with this recent development.

The previous SSL was implemented through Executive Order 201 signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2016 giving salary increases of civil servants in four tranches until 2019.

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