MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday said it will be up to members of the Duterte Cabinet to decide whether they will donate their Christmas bonus to victims in typhoon-hit areas.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he “voluntarily” donated a month’s worth of his salary to students studying Theology.
“Whether or not magdo-donate po ang mga miyembro ng Gabinete, kaniya-kaniya po iyan. Ako po kahapon ay nag-donate ako ng one month (Whether or not members of Cabinet donate, it’s up to them. Yesterday, I donated one month’s worth of my salary) to a divinity school to support poor but deserving students of Theology,” he said in a Palace briefing.
Last April, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said majority of the members of the Cabinet volunteered to donate their monthly salary to help the government’s fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Nograles said he was one of the Cabinet members who donated their salaries.
On Monday, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, chair of the public accounts committee of the House of Representatives, said around 1.5 million government workers will be receiving their Christmas bonus equivalent to a month’s salary–plus PHP5,000 cash gift starting this week.
He said the Christmas bonus is based on Salary Standardization 5 or Republic Act 11466, which stipulated that such yearend bonus will be given every November.
Once funds are already available, he said agencies could begin giving the bonus on Nov. 15.
Under RA 11466, the salary adjustment will be implemented in four tranches from 2020 to 2023.
The biggest increases, ranging from 20 percent to 30 percent by a weighted average of 23.24 percent every year until 2023, would apply to government workers under the Salary Grades 10 to 15 bracket.
President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to place areas successively ravaged by Typhoon Quinta and Super Typhoon Rolly under a state of calamity, Roque earlier said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recommended that Bicol, Region 4-A (Calabarzon), and Region 4-B (Mimaropa) be placed under a state of calamity because of almost PHP17 billion worth of damage wrought by “Quinta” and “Rolly”. (PNA)