Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – Present mechanisms such as the salary standardization and TRAIN Law, which add to the take-home pay of teachers, are already sufficient according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
This is despite earlier pronouncements of Malacañang about doubling the income of teachers in the Philippines.
Diokno said, at present, the P19,000 entry-level salary is enough for an entry-level instructor in a public school.
This is comparatively higher than the P13,000 wage of teachers in private schools.
“We let that the Salary Standardization Law run its course plus the combination of the TRAIN which, as I said, was unanticipated even at the time the Salary Standardization Law was designed. And then we evaluate where we are by January next year for possible budget proposal in 2020,” Diokno said.
Under the Salary Standardization Law approved by President Aquino in 2015, an increase in the income of teachers is expected until 2019.
While under TRAIN Law, there is an additional take-home pay of up to P3,000 for teachers due to tax exemptions.
Corazon Miguel, a public school instructor for 21 years was dismayed over the agency’s statement.
“There are teachers who go abroad. Why do they want to teach in other countries? Because the salary is enticing,” Miguel said.
In a statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said school teachers should get the biggest chunk of the national budget.
This should also be a priority as it is in the Constitution.
Despite this, ACT Teachers Partylist hopes that DBM will still give way to the clamor for additional income.
“Despite Sec. Diokno’s pronouncements that the salary increase of teachers is not a priority, our president is not named ‘Diokno’. So we expect him to comply and we await a concrete proposal,” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue
Malacañang awaits word from HOR on blocked budget
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The sudden suspension of the budget hearing in the Lower House of Congress for the proposed 2019 National Budget raised questions from Malacañang on the kind of relationship that the Executive branch has with the Legislative body.
This, despite having the Lower House’s “super-majority” or the large number of solons allied with the Duterte administration.
Though Malacañang stressed it is not blaming anyone, the Palace admitted it has yet to hear anything about the issue from House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Let’s just say with the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now. We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President, but apparently the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
For now, the Palace regards this as a simple misunderstanding. Still, it would let the Congress explain about the issue.
But Roque said President Duterte does not believe Congress will reject the proposed national budget.
“As of now, I think he’s giving the Congress the benefit of the doubt. He does not actually want to accept that for the first time, Congress does not want to enact on his budget,” the Spokesperson added.
Malacañang is also firm on the use of cash-based budgeting system for next year.
However, if Congress rejects the proposal, the government will be compelled to have a re-enacted budget for 2019.
Under the cash-based budgeting system, government agencies will only propose projects to be funded and implemented within the fiscal year.
The Congress has earlier expressed concerns that under this system, the “Build, Build, Build Program” of the Duterte administration will suffer, though the economic managers have said otherwise. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
Lawmakers oppose DBM’s 2019 cash-based budget system
The House of Representatives is preparing to pass a resolution to withdraw their earlier support for the Budget Reform Bill and the implementation of the cash-based budgeting system in 2019.
This, following the budget cuts across all government agencies for next year.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Karlo Nograles says the proposed budgeting system also slashed their districts’ budgets, prompting opposition from congressmen.
Rep. Karl Nograles said, “We are opposing the cash based budgeting. We want to revert it to the obligation-based because we change the premise. We will return this to the DBM expressing our opposition in the cash-based.”
Under the cash-based budgeting system, agencies are required to spend allotted funds and deliver their projects within the year regardless of possible setbacks.
It replaces the current obligated budget system where agencies may spend on various projects even without available funds but are assured of reimbursement the following year.
But DPWH Sec. Mark Villar defended the administration’s proposed system despite their P93-billion budget slash.
Sec. Mark Villar explained, “The only difference is the whole amount will not be reflected on that year it would be spread out in 2 or 3 years that it is being implemented.”
Aside from DPWH, P77- billion was also slashed from the Department of Education, P35 billion from Department of Health and P5-billion each from Comelec and DSWD.
These budget cuts were transferred to fund the salaries and pension payment of police and military.
Nograles said this new system might cause the delay in the proposed budget passage or worse, might even lead to a re-enacted budget.
A possibility that Albay Representative Edcel Lagman agrees with saying, “The reenacted budget would be better than the present budget of the DBM.”
Congressman Nograles is set to meet with the DBM to discuss their concerns. — Grace Casin
Lawmakers question DBM’s implementation of cash based budget system
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya called for an all-member caucus on Wednesday (August 8), after several lawmakers have questioned the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) shift to cash-based budgeting system from the previous obligation-based budget.
He said some congressmen are blaming the new budgeting system for the cuts in their districts’ budgets.
“There’s a proposal by DBM to shift from obligation-based budget to a cash-based budget so this is causing some confusion to some members. They’re wondering why instead of the budget going up, it’s going down,” Andaya said.
Under the cash-based budget system, agencies are required to spend allotted funds and deliver their projects within the year regardless of possible setbacks.
Whereas under the obligated budget system, agencies may spend on various projects even without available funds but are assured of reimbursement the following year.
“Cash-based kasi gagastusin mo yung kikitain mo sa taong ito. Ang obligation-based is pwede kang gumastos pero pwede mo na bayaran next year, kumbaga may credit line sa tindahan, na ‘yun ang kinasanayan natin at ng lahat ng departamento,” Andaya explained.
Andaya said all members of the House agreed to call on DBM regarding their concerns about the new budgeting system.
“This is the first time it will happen walang precedent pa rito. Everything is uncertain, siguro a little more study before we totally apply,” he said.
Majority of the congressmen both from the minority and majority groups signed a resolution on Wednesday urging DBM to hold its implementation. — Grace Casin