HOUSE Majority Leader Rolando Andaya yesterday asked the Supreme Court to compel Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to release the fourth tranche of salary increase for state workers as provided by the Salary Standardization Law.
Recently, Diokno announced that the fourth tranche of salary adjustments will be implemented by February upon the approval of the 2019 general appropriations act (GAA).
But Andaya argued that there was no basis for the delay in the release of the funds as there are available alternative sources, including the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Funds (MPBF) and the savings generated from the reenacted 2018 General Appropriations Act.
He said the Department of Budget and Management only needs P42.7 billion to fund the fourth tranche salary hike out of the P99.4 billion it can allocate from the MPBF.
“In the unlikely and highly improbable scenario that the MPBF be insufficient to fund or be ineligible as a source of fund... an alternative source of funds is available in the form of savings generated from the 2018 GAA,” Andaya said.
In his petition for mandamus, Andaya said Diokno cannot use as an excuse the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget for not implementing the fourth tranche of the salary increase.
Also, Andaya along with 50 other petitioners stressed the Department of Budget and Management and Diokno neglected their ministerial duty to release funds and benefits provided under Executive Order 201.
EO 201 was signed by former president Benigno Aquino III in 2016 to implement the fourth tranche of salary increase for state workers.