Higher pay for gov't workers, infra projects given more focus in 2009 budget
Cebu City (29 August) -- Higher pay for state workers and implementation of priority infrastructure projects comprise the larger slice of the P1.4T proposed 2009 national budget which is now in the hands of Congress for approval after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently signed it.
Budget Sec. Rolando Andaya bared next year's budget include the P20B salary standardization of government workers where an increase in wages could help cushion the impact of increasing food and fuel prices.
"We have had salary increases since 2006 and the President wants this continued even way beyond her term in 2010," Andaya said.
Some government workers in Cebu have welcomed the move for another round of 10 percent increase in salary starting July next year. "Dako jud nang ikatabang ang pag-usbaw sa sweldo hilabi na naa pa ko'y duha ka anak gipa skwela," (The increase in salary is a big help especially as I still have two kids who are still in school) claimed Sandra Abella of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.
Incorporated in the 2009 proposed budget is bigger funding allocation for priority infrastructure projects, a major factor in drawing foreign investors into the country.
Social welfare and services as well as agriculture will receive a 50 percent hike in their budget allocation while health services can expect an increase of 27 percent more compared to their existing budget, this is learned.
Andaya said the budget increases reflect the President's focus on social welfare and protection to mitigate the impact of the food and oil crises.
The government spending is consistent with the Central Bank and government focus on balancing the budget in 2010, and to better address present economic challenges, according to Andaya. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]