MEMBERS of the Sangguniang Panlungsod unanimously approved the proposed 10 percent salary increase for all Laoag City government employees, including elected officials, during the council’s regular session on July 18.
The 10 percent increase was based on Local Budget Circular 86 by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Aside from the 10 percent salary increase, the approved appropriation ordinance would also include the increase in RATA, pursuant to the Local Budget Circular and the Magna Carta for Population Commission (PopCom) workers, pursuant to RA 7305.
The availability of fund for the salary adjustment was certified and approved by member of the local finance committee with a total amount of P6,457,772.47, sourced partly from the salary savings and other items in the general fund, including additional realized income on professional tax, building permits, zoning clearance, inspection fees and from retained earnings.
The appropriation items are broken down as P5,969,582.47 for the 10 percent salary increase, P425,790 for the RATA increase, effective April 1, and P62,400 for the Magna Carta for PopCom workers.
Laoag Councilor Joseph Tamayo, the measure’s sponsor, said it is about time for city government employees to be given increase in their salaries since the last wage adjustment was done a long time ago.
He added that the salary increase would only become effective once the Sangguniang Panlalawigan gives its final approval.
Reacting to this, city budget officer Carlina Cumigad said the local finance committee tries their best to look for the amount so they could comply with the DBM circular and at the same time adjust salaries by 10 percent.
Cumigad related that the last salary increase for city government employees was on 2001.
She added that the approved salary increase would only start this July.
Earlier, upon learning of the said circular, Laoag Mayor Michael V. Fariñas immediately instructed the local finance committee to find ways to comply with it.
With the approved increase, Fariñas asked all City Hall employees to work harder and for all the required eight hours daily.
There had been reports that although City Hall employees arrive at exactly 8:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon, but they still attend to their personal needs first before entertaining clients. They have also been criticized for leaving 15 minutes before 12:00 noon and 5:00 in the afternoon as they still need to line up to punch out.
Dominic B. dela Cruz