16 May 2015

President Aquino signs order granting Productivity Incentive to government employees
President Aquino signed Executive Order (EO) 181, Implementation of the Provisions of FY 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) on the Grant of the FY 2015 Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) to Government Employees”.In a radio interview Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that under EO 181, the government will give one-time grant of PEI equivalent to one-month basic salary for agencies that have complied with requirements of the Productivity Enhancement Incentive.

Among those who will receive the bonus will be employees from the national government agencies, state universities and colleges, Congress, judiciary, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Office of the Ombudsman and local government units.

Local water districts and government financial institutions will also receive the one-time grant.

“”Pero kailangan talaga na—under Section 4—kailangang ma-meet ng mga agencies ang mga requirement para makapagbigay sila ng one-time PEI equivalent to one-month basic salary,” Valte said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

For those government agencies to receive the bonus, there must be an achievement of “at least 90 percent of their fiscal year 2014 target under at least two performance indicators for at least one major final output under ‘operations,'” she said.

“Kailangan compliant sila doon sa ‘transparency seal’ at kailangan compliant din sila sa posting or publication ng ‘Citizen’s Charter’ ng kanilang agency,” Valte added.

The submission of requirements has been ongoing since last year because that is part of the government’s performance-based incentive system, she explained.

The original target was fiscal year 2014, and Valte said they expect that agencies have been able to comply to all the requirements for the grant of the incentive.

For the government personnel to receive the incentive, they must have four months tenure in government before May 31, 2015.

Consultants or laborers hired through job contracts, student workers and apprentices and individuals as well as groups whose services are engaged through job orders, contract of services and other similarly situated are excluded from receiving the incentive, Valte added.

The government normally gives P5,000 every year to regular employees, but the newly signed EO allows it to extend a productivity incentive equivalent to one-month salary. PND (as)

Government wants stronger collaboration between concerned agencies to prevent deadly fires in the workplace
The government wants a stronger cooperation between the labor department, the Bureau of Fire Protection and local government units to ensure that labor laws are observed in the country to avoid a repeat of the deadly accident that killed many laborers in Valenzuela City, a Palace official said on Saturday.The European Union and the International Labor Organization raised concern over the labor conditions in the country.

In a radio interview Saturday over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said she also saw the EU and ILO reports which were based on the recent fire incident involving a footwear factory in Valenzuela.

In the ongoing investigation of the Department of Labor and Employment, Valte said a number of violations by the factory owner started to surface.

Secretary Linda Baldoz called the violations ‘immoral’ like non-compliance with regular wages, poor working conditions and others, she said adding the government doesn’t want those to happen again.

“That’s why the Labor Department is also intensifying their inspections when it comes to the industrial work places like the one in Valenzuela,” according to Valte.

The Department of Interior and Local Government headed by Secretary Manuel Roxas is also making sure that the Fire Code through the Bureau of Fire Protection is implemented and that permits are not issued just because it is needed but because it should be based on compliance with the Fire and Building Code.

Local governments also have their part, she said. Their role is integral in terms of issuing most of the permits that are necessary for operations, as well as the inspection of industrial work places, Valte said.

Asked to comment on proposals to transfer the DILG’s control over the Bureau of Fire Protection to the provincial governors, she said the proposal must be thoroughly studied.

On suggestion of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago to make the law harsher for those violating the fire safety guidelines, she said only Congress can push such legislation.

“The executive only implements the existing legislation, and if the good senator is proposing heavier penalties, then I’m pretty sure we can expect Senator Santiago to lead the charge on that,” she said.

More than 70 people died and and many others were injured when a huge fire broke out in Valenzuela City this week. PND (as)

Government to continue informing the public about the benefits of Bangsamoro Basic Law
Government initiative to raise awareness on the Bangsamoro Basic Law will continue until the general public appreciates the benefits of having a peace deal with Muslim separatists in Mindanao, a Palace official said.A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey shows only 23 percent of Filipinos support the Bangsamoro Basic Law although those in the core areas or in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had a positive reception on the proposal.

It should be a continued stakeholder engagement, but the survey is a good indicator for the government, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

The positive reception of the people in the ARMM on the BBL means they see what could be the immediate benefit of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to their community, Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“As to the rest of the country, it will have to be… the efforts to explain the BBL will continue, efforts to consult with stakeholders will continue, primarily led by the OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process), the peace panel, the peace advocates and the stakeholders that have come onboard to support the BBL,” she added.

In an interview with Bombo Radyo this week, President Aquino said the passage of the BBL is still on track and the two chambers of Congress remain committed for its passage.

But Aquino pointed out that he and other peace supporters would find a “watered-down” version of the BBL unacceptable because it will be tantamount to reducing benefits accruing to the Bangsamoro people.

He also expressed optimism that the members of the Congress Ad Hoc Committee are now in the process of enhancing and improving the proposed BBL, as the same is now considered as a historic measure once enacted into law.

An enhanced law will further help the Bangsamoro push towards attaining lasting peace and genuine development in Mindanao, the President said. PND (as)