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DepEd: Briones’ pay among lowest in Cabinet

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By Merlina Hernando-Malipot 

Given her “actual total earnings” for 2018, the Department of Education (DepEd) clarified that the ranking of Education Secretary Leonor Briones – in terms of salaries and allowance – is considered among the lowest.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)

To “correct misconceptions” about the income of Briones, DepEd noted that “there are two points that must be understood.” First, “the salaries and allowances of all Cabinet members are standard” and second, “the difference in the Cabinet members’ reported incomes is affected by the varying system of each agency’s accounting office.”

DepEd said the “salary schedule is uniform” based on the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and Executive Order No. 201, s. 2016, which set the “governing principles of the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) ─ the payment of just and equitable compensation to all government personnel in accordance with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.”

Briones’ Report of Salaries and Allowances (ROSA) for 2018, DepEd said, showed that aside from her monthly basic salary as a Cabinet member, she “receives the standard allowances accorded all government personnel.”

Based on the same document, DepEd maintained that Briones’ total earnings for 2018 was P3.3 million ─ and not P3.95 million as had been reported ─ excluding the Gasoline and Miscellaneous Expenses that are actual expenses incurred by the Office of the Secretary proper and not as her personal use.

These expenses, DepEd said, were considered as “allowance” by the agency’s accounting office and the Commission on Audit (COA) resident auditors. Therefore, these were “included as footnotes” in the ROSA.

The issue on Briones’ salary came to light as calls for salary increase for public school teachers continue to intensify.

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