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Asia Philippines

Philippines to raise salaries of civilian workers, after pay raise for cops, military

Compensation study completion by end-June will guide pay increases for state workers

A Philippine public school teacher guides pupils during a school day. The ACT Teachers Party-List group supports the teachers' call for 50,000 pesos ($850) entry-level salary for teachers.
Image Credit: Yancy Lim | PNA

Manila: The Philippines is preparing to raise the salaries of civil service workers, including public school teachers, following a comprehensive study set for completion by the end of June 2024.

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The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on June 11 that the results of the "Compensation and Benefits Study" will form the basis for a new Total Compensation Framework for civilian government personnel.


nummber of government employees in the Philippines.

It's not immediately known by how much the salary increase would be for the 1.9 million governmment employees.


The current basic wage of public school teachers at entry-level is around 27,000 pesos ($459) a month, according to Philippine media reports. The ACT Teachers Party-List group supports the call for 50,000 pesos ($850) entry-level salary for teachers.

Image Credit: PNA

Equitable compensation

According to the DBM, the study, conducted in collaboration with the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), aims to ensure a competitive and equitable compensation package for government workers.

The consultancy firm engaged by the DBM and GCG has been tasked with examining the current compensation system, including salaries, benefits, and allowances, and establishing a sustainable pay structure that accounts for inflation and market practices.

Budget Secretary Amenah “Mina” Pangandaman emphasized the government's commitment to supporting the salary adjustment once approved, stating: “We will find a way to fund its implementation, subject to excess revenue to be collected by the national government.”


46% pay increase over 4 years proposed

In a related development, Senator Jinggoy Estrada has proposed a Salary Standardisation Law (SSL) VI, which suggests a phased 46 per cent salary increase over four years for around 1.9 million government employees.

This bill, outlined under Senate Bill No. 2611, seeks to implement a 10 per cent increase in the first year, followed by 11 per cent, 12 per cent, and 13 per cent in subsequent years. The proposal excludes military personnel, certain government-owned corporations, and contractual hires.

Estrada's bill follows the significant salary adjustments for military and uniformed personnel in 2018, which saw an average increase of 58.7 per cent. These adjustments set a precedent for the current push to improve compensation for civilian government employees.

The DBM and GCG's study marks a crucial step toward a fair and motivating compensation system for civil servants, who are recognised as the backbone of the nation. The government’s objective is to enhance the welfare and productivity of its employees while ensuring financial sustainability, she said.

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) led by Dr. Jose Ramon G. Albert showed the Philippines is significantly underspending on education. The paper reveals that the Philippines allocates only 3.6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education, trailing behind the regional standard of over 4%.


Military and uniformed personnel in the Philippines saw a huge bump in their salary. From January 1, 2018, a Police Officer I and those with equivalent rank enjoyed a 100 per cent salary increase, resulting to a monthly base pay of 29,668 pesos. Overall, the salary adjustments resulted to a 58.7 per cent average increase for all military and uniformed personnel ranks, starting 2018.

Military and uniformed personnel also enjoy a mid-year bonus, usually disbursed at the end of June, in addition to the mandatory 13th-month pay.

A study conducted by Oxfam Pilipinas showed that the Philippine government underspent disaster funds by 118.4 billion pesos (about $2 billion) from 2016 to 2020.
In November 2023, Filipino senators questioned the government's persistent problem on underspending while deliberating on the proposed 5.768-trillion-pesos national budget for 2024.

Among the top 5 government agencies with poor spending performance identified then are: the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Tourism (DOT).