Press Release
January 7, 2010

Villar : Palace can end bonus impasse by dipping into its savings

Saying that bonuses to government employees must be given "fast and fair " , Nacionalista Party president Manny Villar today asked Malacanang to "dig into its deep pocket of savings" so it can settle its Christmastime obligations to state workers.

Villar said Malacanang should now shoulder the balance of P3,000 - out of the P10,000 year-end "performance bonus" authorized for the year - due to employees of agencies which have "no internal savings" to draw it from .

Under the Malacanang guidelines on the P10,000 year-end bonus, the amount of P7,000 will be shouldered by the national government, while P3,000 will be sourced from agency savings .

Many agencies, the Department of Education among them, have , however, complained that they have no savings to tap , as they have spent all their allocations , based on a tight expenditure program which left no room for surplus .

Villar said the "standoff" can be ended if Malacanang "as the controller of funds" will just shoulder the "agency equity of P3,000" of those offices with no savings no spare.

"May of our fellow employees are caught in a bureaucratic ping-pong. This blame- passing must end. This finger-pointing between the Palace and the agencies can be ended if Malacanang will just shoulder the P3,000," Villar said.

To break the impasse, Villar said the Palace "can just dig into its hoard of unspent appropriations."

"In the fiscal year 2008 budget document called the National Expenditure Program Financing , it says there that the national government posted savings for that year in the amount of P140 billion."

Villar said monthly fiscal reports of the Finance department also showed gross underspending on the part of the government. "Actual spending has always been below authorized levels."

Regarding the case of teachers, "if the amount in contention is about P1 billion, and with DepEd hard-pressed in coming up with 'savings', then I would suggest that Malacanang gives in and just shoulder the amount."

Villar cited the elections in May , in which precincts will be manned by teachers, as an argument for settling the debt to teachers soon.

" If marshal teachers for election duty if the government has IOUs with them," he said.

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