‘Low pay is not reason to be corrupt’

February 28, 2020
Rodrigo Duterte and Bong Go

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday advised workers in government whining over their low pay to just leave the service and give their posts to those who truly want to serve the people.

“Marami pong Pilipino ang gusto magtrabaho ng tapat. Para sa mga hindi kuntento sa pagseserbisyo nang tapat, mas mabuting ibigay niyo na lang po ang inyong trabaho sa ibang tao na ginugustong magserbisyo sa bayan at hindi ang magpayaman,” Go said.

“Pumasok tayo sa gobyerno para magserbisyo. Hindi po para yumaman. Hindi rason ang mababang sweldo para maging corrupt. Prayoridad natin ang maglingkod sa tao. Kapakanan ng kapwa Pilipino ang palagi nating unahin,” he added.

A recent Senate inquiry showed that some Bureau of Immigration (BI) employees had received pay offs from travel agencies or tourists to enter the country without visas after they said their overtime pay were restricted.

BI employees later demanded salary increases.

In response, Go said the Duterte administration was always committed in promoting the welfare of government employees, such as through better compensation.

“Early this year, President Duterte signed into law the Salary Standardization Law 5, which I authored, increasing the salaries of government civilian employees,” he added.

“As to the appeal of Bureau of Immigration employees for increased pay, this administration continues to provide augmentation pay in accordance with the law,” he explained.

The lawmaker from Davao said that in 2018 and 2019, the Office of the President issued Memo Order 24 s. 2018 and Memo Order 39 s. 2019, respectively, allowing the use of Express Lane Fees to augment the salaries of BI personnel.

“And they continue to receive the same this year, subject to certain conditions, as authorized by the General Appropriations Act 2020,” Go said.

The Immigration Officers Association of the Philippines Inc. is lobbying Congress to approve a pending measure to replace the outdated Immigration Act of 1940 or the Salary Standardization Law to increase the salary grade of BI officers.

Go, a former special assistant to President Duterte, assured the BI employees that he would support this measure and would urge his colleagues to pass this immediately.

‘’Being a worker in government for the past 21 years, I understand what government employees go through,” he explained.

“Mahirap maging empleyado ng gobyerno. Malaking sakripisyo ito para sa pamilya dahil hindi ganun kataas ang sweldo kumpara sa pribadong sektor. Pero iba ang katuparang nadadama dahil nakapagserbisyo ka sa ating bayan,” he added.

“Patuloy naming isinusulong ni Pangulong Duterte ang kapakanan ng mga empleyado, katulad ng mas magandang benepisyo, para naman maalagaan ang kanilang mga pamilya,” the senator said.

“Gagawin po namin lahat ng pwedeng gawin basta naaayon sa batas. Ang hiling lang namin sa mga kawani ng gobyerno ay basta magserbisyo kayo ng tapat sa bayan at sa inyong kapwa,” Go stressed.

“As the President reiterated numerous times: we are here to work for the people, for a better future for our children,” he said.