During the plenary deliberations of the proposed P3.8 trillion national budget for 2018 yesterday, it was disclosed that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) wants to remove the performance-based bonus (PBB) being received yearly by the employees of the government.
The disclosure was made by Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, who sponsored the budget proposal of the DBM.
The PBB is an additional, result-based incentive given to State workers annually on top of other legally-sanctioned bonuses like the mid-year bonus and 13th Month Pay.
On July of 2012, former President Benigno Aquino signed Executive Order 180, Series of 2012 entitled “DIRECTING THE ADOPTION OF A PERFORMANCE-BASED INCENTIVE SYSTEM FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.” This became the legal basis not only of PPB but also of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) granted to workers in the public sector.
These additional bonuses were approved by Aquino after a thorough review and evaluation and are meant not only to compensate hardworking and dedicated public servants but also to motivate better performance in the public sector.
Unfortunately, it appears that the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte wants to deny State workers of the yearly PBB.
This revelation was made during the budget deliberations at the House of Representatives when ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio questioned the decrease in the miscellaneous and personnel benefits funds of the DBM, from P16.7 billion in 2017 to the proposed P11.63 billion in 2018.
In response, Nograles said that they are currently reviewing the PBB.
“Itong PBB kasi was conceptualized before the salary standardization. So right now DBM is studying kung yung PBB is still effective. Is it really something that enhances the performance of our government workers?”
Tinio, a former State University professor, lamented how the PPB was previously invoked to justify the modest increase of rank-and-file employees.
“Ang sagot ng DBM noon, meron kayong relatively modest increase pero meron namang PBB,”
Rep. Tinio also cited Executive Order 201, Series of 2016, also issued by Pres. Aquino, which states that the PBB for qualified government personnel will be given in an amount equivalent to one up two months basic salary.
However, Tinio observed that the DBM did not comply with EO 201 which remains to be effective at this time when DBM Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1 was issued last March stating that the PBB rates will be based on the performance ranking of each employee’s bureau or unit, with the rate of incentive as a multiple of employees basic salary ranging only from 0.50 to 0.65.
Confronted by the above-mentioned EO’s and circulars, Nograles was forced to agree with Tinio’s observations and said that the DBM is currently studying the alleged “distortions” in the present PBB system.
We hope that the Duterte administration through the DBM and the Malacanang allies in Congress will rethink and reevaluate their present position regarding the PBB. It was adopted by the Aquino government after a careful study and for a noble and valid purpose.
We hope too that this is not another case of abandoning a good program just because it was adopted and implemented by the previous administration. It is high time for the incumbent government to stop being vindictive, set aside political differences and start providing genuine governance and service to the people.