SENATOR Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada pressed the need to double the amount of government subsidy to state workers to augment their earnings amid the continuing rise in the cost of living, aggravated by the spike in oil prices.
“Sa pagtaas ng inflation rate o ang pagtaas ng presyo ng ilang pangkaraniwang serbisyo at produktong binibili ng mga konsyumer, hindi na makabuluhan ang halaga ng Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) na natatanggap ng mga manggagawa sa gobyerno,” Estrada, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, said.
“Napapanahon na rin na itaas ito sa P4,000 kada buwan para mapunan ang ilang gastusin ng mga manggagawa sa gobyerno na kadalasang tumutugon sa mga pampublikong tungkulin lalo na sa panahon na may krisis at kalamidad,” he added.
In his Senate Bill No. 1027, Estrada proposed the grant of an additional P2,000 in the monthly PERA of government employees and rename it as Augmented Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (APERA).
Covered in the P4,000 monthly APERA are military and uniformed personnel as well as civilian government employees occupying regular, contractual, or casual positions, whether appointive or elective positions.
Those stationed abroad already receiving overseas allowances shall not be entitled to APERA, the senator said.
First granted in 1990 to all government employees to cushion the impact of price increases brought about by the Gulf War, the monthly P500 PERA was increased to P2,000 in 2009 to supplement government workers’ salaries due to the rising cost of living.
“With the continued rise of prices of commodities and gasoline, the P2,000 Personnel Economic Relief Allowance is definitely not enough to help them tide over the financial difficulties,” Estrada said.