Friday, March 17, 2006

Beltran reacts to Senate-House row over gov't workers allowances-- A P3,000 across-the-board salary hike, not merely additional allowances

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 426-9442 Email:
URL: http://

March 17, 2006

Beltran reacts to Senate-House row over gov't workers allowances-- A P3,000 across-the-board salary hike, not merely additional allowances, says proponent of government wage increase bill

"Solons should quit quabbling over the Senate and Lower House's 'outdoing each other' on the issue of government workers' pay hikes, and work for the passage, or at the very least the approximation, of the six-year call for a P3,000 across-the-board salary hike for public sector workers as outlined in House Bill (HB) 1064," Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said today.

Speaking from his detention center at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital in Camp Crame, where he has been confined since March 2, Rep. Beltran said that is was "high time to heed the calls for a P3,000 salary hike across all levels for government employees".

"My continuing detention here at Camp Crame on false and malicious charges is also the Arroyo government's way of depriving state and private workers another voice in the halls of Congress," the veteran labor leader said.

The proponent of HB 1064, Beltran has been closely monitoring issues such as government workers' salary and allowance hikes even while at Camp Crame. "The discontented public reaction of government employees nationwide to news of the Lower House's passage of a P1,000 monthly allowance retroactive to January 2006 and the Senate's P2,000 hike starting mid-year of 2006 only underscores that the said hikes are still vastly inadequate to meet the needs of our public sector workers, especially the rank-and-file," Beltran said.

"An increase in the form of an allowance is still flawed, considering that it is too little and will have no bearing on the long-term welfare government employees whose benefits are hinged on their wage rates. A significant across-the-board wage hike will still be the more substantial option if we are really intent on pursuing the best option for the public sector workers," Beltran said of the bills.

"Let us not reduce this to the question of 'papogian' between the Lower House and the Senate," Beltran appealed to administration solons who have been vocally criticizing the oppositional Senate's bill as a bid to outdo the House version, which was explicitly advocated by Pres. Arroyo. "The fundamental issue here is what track our wage legislation should be running on," he said.

Beltran also proposed that debt servicing allotments be reduced in order to accommodate the proposed wage hike. "We need not sacrifice other funds for social spending, public health and education just to be able to source the funds for a wage hike. We can instead call for the repeal of laws such as the Martial-Law era Presidential Decree 1177, which imposes automatic debt appropriations," he suggested. ###


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