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Land Bank of the Philippines Employees Association (LBPEA) members assail the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) as unacceptable, unjustified and unfair for providing pay increases that widen the disparity in the salaries of rank and file workers and directors and top executives of the Land Bank during a press conference in a hotel in Malate Manila. (TSJ)

LANDBANK EMPLOYEES UP IN ARMS AGAINST SALARY HIKE DISPARITY

Rank and file employees from the Land Bank of the Philippines complained that they are getting salary hikes as small as one percent of their current rates, while top bosses will enjoy pay increases as high as 375 percent over their current salaries.

The employees, through the Land Bank of the Philippines Employees Association (LBPEA) and bank workers, are vehemently protesting this glaring disparity in salary increases for rank and file workers, officers and top executives under a pay rationalization scheme recently signed and approved for implementation by President Duterte.

“It gives too little for rank and file employees, too much for top bosses,” said Nanette Jariño, president of the LBPEA.

The GOCC Governance Act of 2011, or Republic Act 10149 was enacted on June 6, 2011 to streamline the compensation scheme of rank and file employees and officers of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs).

Lati said former President Benigno S. Aquino III called for the drawing up of the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) under R.A. 10149 after he found abuses in the payscale of GOCCs and GFIs.

Noted in particular, she added, was the wide disparity between the salaries and benefits of directors and top executives of the government corporations and those of rank and file employees.

Acting on Aquino’s initiative, the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), the regulatory body mandated by the law to streamline the compensation scale of GOCC and GFI rank and file employees and officers, developed the CPCS.

On March 22, 2016, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 203 approving the CPCS presented by the GCG. Implementation, however, was suspended under Executive Order No. 36 signed by President Duterte on July 28, 2017, based on a report of the Kamaggfi or Kapisanan ng mga GOCCs at GFIs, umbrella organization of workers’ unions in some 200 government corporations.

“We were happy that the five years when the CPCS was stalled had come to an end. Finally, the series of caravans, mass actions that we held to press for the implementation of the CPCS seemed to have brought results,” Lati said.

But Land Bank employees were shocked after a general assembly where bank management explained the terms of the approved CPCS. “Turns out the CPCS as signed contains even a worse imbalance between the salaries of rank and file workers and top executives,” she said.

“Imagine, some rank and file employees are to get a one per cent increase in their salaries under this CPCS, while directors and top executives get almost 300 per cent in increases,” Lati added.

Mandy Pillon, a director of the LBPEA, said these percentage increases translate into P118,000 for asst. vice presidents of the Land Bank, P171,000 for vice presidents, P242,000 for senior vice presidents, P312,000 for executive vice president, and P413,000 for the president.

In comparison, rank and file employees who have served for several decades at Land Bank will get an average of P560 increase on top of current salaries.

“We would like to settle the issue within bounds, instead of ventilating it in public. But court arbitration is an option we will settle if authorities persist with this unjust salary increase scheme,” Pillon added. (TSJ)

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