Byline: GENALYN D. KABILING
With Christmas just around the corner, President Arroyo yesterday granted an additional bonus of R5,000 to each of the 1.1 million government employees in appreciation for their hard work and dedication to public service.
Speaking at the 9th National Convention of Government Employees and 60th anniversary of the Philippine Government Employees Association in MalacaA[+ or -]ang, the President said the additional bonus would be sourced from the savings of several government agencies.
"I have asked the Department of Budget and Management to collate from all national government agencies the total of our savings so (that) we can use that pool of national government savings to pay for a uniform extra bonus for all of you," she said.
"And last night, Secretary (Romulo) Neri confirmed to me that we can give you an additional bonus of R5,000 each," she added. Budget Secretary Neri, in a radio interview, said the R5,000 additional bonus for government employees will be released on or before Dec. 15.
The amount is in addition to the yearend bonus of employees from all national government agencies, state universities and colleges, governmentowned and -controlled corporations, government financial institutions and local government units.
In giving the additional cash bonus, the President praised the government workforce for its devotion to good governance, particularly in resisting temptations of corruption. "It is high time to congratulate you for all these decades of spirited quest for true service and your fight against graft and corruption. Youare making an essential contribution to governance," she said.
Mrs. Arroyo added that government employees can also expect an increase in their salaries next year as soon as Congress enacts the proposed 2005 national budget.
At least R13 billion has been set aside for the salary increase of the government workers in the R1.1 trillion budget bill for next year, according to the President.
"The people pin their hopes upon the performance of our public servants, our bureaucracy of the top officials to the lowest rank-and-file, and we are trying hard in spite of budget limitations to alleviate the plight of our government workers," she said. …