EVEN with the 2019 National Budget still in limbo, Senator Franklin Drilon said that the government should implement the fourth tranche of salary adjustment for government employees this year.
“The DBM (Department of Budget and Management) does not have to wait for Congress to approve the 2019 General Appropriations Act before it implements the fourth tranche of the salary increase,” Drilon said.
“The non-passage of the 2019 national budget is a non-issue in the implementation of the salary increase because the money is there and the authorization is there,” Drilon stressed.
The senator said that the DBM will violate no law if it implements the increase because it is already specified in the resolution signed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III that the increase should be implemented in four tranches up to 2019.
Drilon insisted that a reenacted budget could fund the salary increase.
In the event that the budget is not passed or delayed even further, Drilon said that the DBM could tap some excess funds in the Miscellaneous and Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF), or Congress can pass a supplemental budget to augment the budgetary requirement.
“I appeal to the DBM to implement the last tranche of the salary increase to help our state workers cope with inflation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said that the Upper Chamber will not sacrifice the quality of the law that will create the 2019 National Budget just to accommodate the request of the administration to hasten its approval.
“The Palace knows the Senate is doing its best. Not our fault that the budget was submitted late,” insisted Sotto.