Petition seeking wage increase for gov’t workers filed at SC
Marje Pelayo • January 14, 2019 • 1236
MANILA, Philippines – House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. filed a petition at the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday (January 14) asking the high tribunal to order Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to implement the fourth tranche of salary increase for government workers.
“Huwag niyang gagawing dahilan ang reenacted budget dahil mayroon namang mga alituntunin na nakapaloob sa kaniyang departamento na para ibigay ito,” Andaya said.
“Nakakahiya naman na iyong bayad sa daang bilyong utang natin nababayaran natin kahit walang bagong budget. Ito pa kayang katiting lang,” he added.
According to Andaya, the P40 billion needed fund can be spliced from the P75 billion miscellaneous personnel benefits fund (MPBF).
Meanwhile, Diokno welcomed Andaya’s petition.
He said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is preparing its comments on the filed petition.
However, Diokno insisted that the reason for the delay in the salary increase was mainly because of the delays in the passage of the 2019 national budget.
“We welcome the petition of mandamus filed by Rep. Andaya at the Supreme Court, so that this issue will be settled once and for all,” Diokno said.
“Mayroon pong tinatawag na diskresyon o constitutional prerogative ang Kongreso kung kailan niya ipapasa ang budget. Hindi po iyan sa dikta ni Sec. Diokno pero siya meron siyang legal duty. Wala siyang diskresyon,” Andaya argued. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
The Office of the President has distanced itself from the Supreme Court (SC) decision that lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the hearing of the case against former president Benigno Aquino III on the Mamasapano encounter.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has refused to further comment on the issue as the palace would not want to be accused of meddling with the decision of the judiciary which is a co-equal branch of government.
“[W]e refuse to comment on the action undertaken by the Supreme Court, which belongs to a separate and independent branch of government from ours. We cannot and we do not intend to interfere with the functions of other branches which are distinct from the Executive,” Panelo said.
The palace, he added, would rather see the judicial process roll on its own accord.
“We will, as usual, let the law take its course,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf
Nebrija further said that while there is still no court order, the MMDA will still push through with its preparations and their plans for the bus terminal closure, which the agency targets to implement in June.
“We’ll wait kung go or no go but we are still preparing, we’re still pushing with the plan. In the absence of a court order, we will push through with it,” he added.
The MMDA official believes that the impending implementation of the provincial bus ban on Edsa remains as one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.
Nebrija, however, said that they still haven’t come up with a timeline from preparations to implementation as they are still yet to receive the policy guidelines from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The MMDA had implemented a dry run of the bus ban in April but suspended it in less than a month.
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