By Genalyn Kabiling
Granting benefits beyond the present compensation scheme for government offices may be “too burdensome” to the government, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo raised the argument in defending President Duterte’s decision to veto the bill seeking to grant survivorship benefits to children of officials and employees of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Commission on Audit (COA), Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman).
“The President recognizes the importance of this enrolled bill in order to allow additional benefits to be given to those working in the above-mentioned constitutional offices,” Panelo said.
“This, notwithstanding, President Duterte took into consideration that the granting of benefits outside the current compensation framework may be too burdensome to the government,” he added.
The President sent his veto message to the Senate and the House of Representatives, rejecting the enrolled Senate Bill No. 1917 and House Bill No. 7820 on the survivorship grants for these constitutional offices. The bills were transmitted to the Office of the President last month.
In his veto message signed last April 12, the President said he was “apprehensive” that giving additional benefits beyond the compensation framework may be “onerous” to the government.
Panelo also expressed concern that the proposed law would undermine the government’s goal to standardize and rationalize the current compensation framework in the bureaucracy.
By vetoing the measure, he said the President made sure that “disparity and inequality in compensation among public servants will be prevented since the additional benefits proposed in the enrolled bill are extraordinary benefits not granted to any government official under the present compensation scheme of the government.”
“We consider the current government compensation framework in order,” Panelo said.