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P20 billion earmarked for salary increases of gov't employees in 2009 budget - Andaya

Manila (29 August) -- The government has earmarked P20 billion for salary standardization of government workers under the P1.4 trillion proposed 2009 national budget.

In a media briefing in Malacanang, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said the allocation for salary standardization of state employees is among the significant allocations lined up under the 2009 budget.

He said the proposed general appropriations measure has been submitted to Congress after it was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Sunday.

Andaya added that 2009 budget is focused not only on bigger government spending on priority infrastructure projects, but will also provide higher spending capacity for the low-salaried workers.

"We have had salary increases since 2006 and the President wants this continued even way beyond her term in 2010," Andaya said.

He pointed out that the P20-billion allocation would somehow help cushion the impact of the spikes of food and fuel prices on lowly-paid government workers.

The budget secretary said the proposed 2009 budget includes a 50 percent increase in the allocation for both Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the 27 percent increase in the Department of Health (DOH).

The budget increases, he said, reflect the President's focus on social welfare and protection to mitigate the impact of the food and oil crises.

Andaya added 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. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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