BY NOEL BARCELONA
September 5, 2008 –5:24 p.m.
Members of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), staged a picket-protest in front of the Quezon City Hall at 12 noon today to press for a P3,000 salary increase for government employees.
Ferdinand Gaite, Courage national president, said that it is high time that the P3,000 increase in the minimum pay is implemented to help government employees cope with the soaring prices of goods and services.
The campaign for P3,000 across-the-board, nationwide pay hike for government employees started in 1999 during the time of the deposed Joseph Estrada government.
In 2001, upon the assumption of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the presidency, government employees intensified the lobbying for the said increase. The Arroyo administration, however, opted for a ten percent increase in 2007 and another ten percent hike last July.
Moreover, the group criticized the proposal made by Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., saying that it will only benefit higher officials, not the rank-and-file employees.
In the proposed 2009 national budget, P20 billion will be allotted for pay adjustments. Those with salary grades 10 up to the President (SG 35) will receive as much as a 50 percent salary increase. The lower ranks will get a mere ten to 14 percent hike.
“How insensitive this government is! The high ranking officials who already enjoy windfall of perks shall receive the lion’s share while the employees who survive only on their salaries shall receive mere crumbs.” said Gaite. (Bulatlat.com)