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Legarda: There’s Budget for Elections, Govt Workers Salary Increase

January 30, 2019

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, today said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has assured that there will be funding for the May 2019 elections and salary adjustment of government workers even as both Houses of Congress are still working on the approval of the 2019 national budget.

Legarda made the statement at the third bicameral committee meeting on the disagreeing provisions of the 2019 General Appropriations Bill (GAB).

“The technical staff has now submitted to their respective Chairpersons a copy of their recommendations, which we have to scrutinize before we approve each and every amendment. At the rate we are going, we do not expect the bicameral meeting on the disagreeing provisions on the GAB to finish tonight,” Legarda said during her opening statement.

The Senator said that there are two items in the 2019 budget that she is very concerned about: the budget for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the budget for the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) III for civil servants and the salary adjustment of the Military and Uniformed Personnel.

“We would like to assure the voting public, and our government personnel that the DBM will source the necessary funds for the mid-term elections and salary adjustments,” she said.

Legarda said, according to the DBM, for the requirements for the May elections, the funds will be sourced from the Php 10 billion unutilized fund of COMELEC, as well as from the Contingency Fund; and, the 4th tranche of the SSL3 will be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF).

“The Senate contingent has to study and further examine the proposals of the technical staff, and I expect the House panel will do the same. But even if the bicameral meeting goes on for another week, we can actually go on until February 8, which I am willing to do and even willing to go beyond for a special session if it warrants, these concerns on the elections and salary standardization will already be taken care of separately. Hindi po maaapektuhan ang SSL at ang eleksyon, anuman ang mangyari,” Legarda concluded.