Coming to one’s senses, quoting Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., may well be an understatement—but the release of funds for salary increases for government workers has a rippling effect in many work zones across the country.
Andaya, who has been at daggers with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno during the past weeks, has welcomed the release of funds, underlined in two Department of Budget and Management Circulars, which authorize Local Government Units and Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations to release the fourth tranche of the wage hike to their employees under the Salary Standardization Law.
The DBM Circulars—Local Budget Circular No. 118 and Corporate Budget Circular No. 23—were both signed by Secretary Diokno on Jan. 15, 2019. Both took effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
According to Andaya, the twin circulars only mean that what legislators have been saying is true: that the DBM has the tools to implement the salary increases for at least 1.4 million employees even under a reenacted budget.
“Secretary Diokno can use these tools to release the salary increase for other civil servants in the executive, legislative and judicial branches as well as in constitutional offices. Secretary Diokno is just taking these employees hostage in a desperate bid to force Congress to approve his pet projects the soonest time possible,” Andaya said.
He added: “Finally, Secretary Diokno has come to his senses. Now, he realizes that he has to implement the law granting salary increases to civil servants even under a reenacted budget.”
The government employees, from where we are and given the present state of affairs—prices of prime commodities, among others, hurtling to a gallop—deserve the immediate compassion and increase of the government as their employer.
Salary delayed is salary denied.
And while we do not begrudge those in the bureaucracy who would eventually have a fatter take-home pay envelope on time, the Department of Budget action is a saga worth emulating.
Let’s bring it on.