It should have been a common knowledge by now that Pres. Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 76 (subsequently referred to as EO76 for brevity) last March.
The said executive issuance essentially amended EO 201 and circumvented around the deadlock in the congress relative to the issues on the 2019 budget.
Executive Order 201, s. 2016
As a sort of review, it can be remembered that EO 201, signed in 2016, provided for the salary increase of Government employees, both civilian and MUP (Military and Uniformed Personnel).
This salary increase was divided in 4 tranches (or phases) starting from 2016 and will end this 2019.
Under this scheme, the civilian government employees had that salary increase reflected in their base pays while the MUPs were provided with Provisional allowance and Officers allowance, as the case may be. Also, the EO 201 created a new personnel benefit in the form of the Midyear Bonus or 14th month pay (Yes. 14th month pay).
Joint Resolution No. 1
However in 2018, President Duterte signed the Joint Resolution No. 1 (JR no. 1 for brevity) which provided for the salary increase for MUPs (PNP included here). The good thing here is that the salary increase was reflected in base pay already. The salary increase for MUPs in this law is implemented in 2 tranches, 2018 and 2019.
It (JR no. 1) also repealed the provisions on Provisional and Officers allowance as these are just interim (or temporary) measures. Therefore, the EO 201 is no longer seen to have any effect on the MUPs, save for the provision on Midyear bonus which is still the basis for the MUPs’ 14th month pay.
Now, both laws, EO 201 and JR no. 1, have a section on Funding Source for these salary increase to get implemented properly.
In a nutshell, the funding sources for both laws for the 2019 implementation will be taken from the 2019 GAA (General Appropriations Act or the 2019 budget).
As we all know, the problem lies in the disagreement by both chambers of the congress (House and Senate) on the final version of 2019 GAA. That disagreement meant that they have not submitted the draft GAA to the president for signature. That further meant that there is still no budget for 2019.
Therefore, no 2019 budget, no salary increase.
Actually, I already discussed this in a previous article.
Amending the law
That’s where President Duterte’s EO 76 became relevant. The said law amended Section 15 of EO 201 which is the provision for Funding Source of that law.
I must emphasize this: if one will read the texts of EO 76, it is very clear that the law being amended was EO 201 only.
Remember when I said that the salary increase of MUPs (JR no. 1) is now distinct from the civilians (EO 201)?
I mentioned that to highlight the fact that JR no. 1, where the salary increase of MUPs is anchored, is in fact, not amended.
Therefore, for all we know, the funding source of JR no. 1 is still the 2019 GAA.
Thus, the much awaited salary increase for MUPs is yet to arrive. We could expect that we will not receive the same “grasya” that the civilian government employees will receive starting this April.
One day, kapag sinipag, i’ll come up with a comprehensive explanation of the rationale of the salary increase scheme.
Chismis lang, walang bearing
Now, just to give you a glimmer of hope, I’ve heard a hearsay that the DC (this is for PNP only, by the way) has this position that the PNP is covered by the EO 76.
I am not a lawyer, and so, how that would be implemented? Your guess is as good as mine. But there is this elementary rule in statutory construction, which states that “When the law is clear and free from ambiguity, you do not interpret it. In this case, the law is very clear.”
Note: The 3.758 Trillion National budget is now with the President. Sen. Sotto signed it with reservations last March 26, 2019.
The President, after thorough review, may choose to veto certain provision.
Nice to Know: The GAA is unique among laws passed by the Congress to the President in that it is the only law wherein the President can veto certain provisions or sections. For other laws, he can only either sign or veto it as a whole.
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