After President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent on Monday, December 16, the bill that seeks to increase the salaries of civilian government employees, the Senate passed its measure on final reading on the same day.
Senate Bill (SB) No. 1219, which seeks to give civilian government employees their fifth round of salary increases, was passed on the third and final reading with twenty-one affirmative votes, no negative votes, and one abstention.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, a co-sponsor of the bill, previously explained that SB 1219 is in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s wish that measures supporting pay hike should benefit all professions in government.
“The President wants nothing less than a complete and holistic approach to the salary increase. Meaning, he wants all government employees to receive an increase,” Go said when he expressed his intention to co-sponsor the bill at the Senate session on December 10.
“During his last State of the Nation Address, the President urged Congress to pass the new Salary Standardization Law to increase the pay of government workers, including public school teachers and public hospital nurses,” the Senator added.
Because the President certified the bill as urgent, the Senate was allowed to proceed to the third and final reading of the bill right after the second reading, bypassing the rule that requires three days to pass between the second and third readings.
SB 200, which Go filed in his first week of duty as a Senator in July, served as one of the bases of SB 1219, which seeks to give the salary increase in four tranches.
“If passed into law, the minimum basic salary of a first-level government employee will be increased from P11,068 to P13,000 (after all tranches),” Go explained. He added that “around 1.4 million civilian personnel in the national government” will benefit from the law.
“This necessary reward for our civil servants has been a long time coming. It is high time that we recognize their work and accomplishments with the salary increase they deserve,” Go also said.
Senator Bong Revilla, the chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, sponsored SB 1219, and aside from Go, Senators Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, Risa Hontiveros and Richard Gordon also co-sponsored the bill.