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Chiz pushes to double Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) of gov’t workers

Chiz pushes to double Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) of gov’t workers

Senator Chiz Escudero has filed a measure that will increase to P4,000 from P2,000 the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) of some 1.8-million government employees.

In filing the bill, Escudero said that PERA, which was originally introduced in the early 1990s, was a “subsidy granted to all government workers as a form of assistance to help make ends meet in the face of economic crisis as well as higher prices.”

“Higher gasoline prices, higher transportation fares and higher prices of basic commodities since PERA’s inception have proven that PERA augments the earnings of a government worker not just as an emergency allowance, but as a major source of additional funding to be able to afford basic commodities,” he said.

Under Escudero’s proposal, PERA will still cover all civilian government employees both in the local and national level whether “appointive or elective, and whether occupying regular, contractual, or casual positions, whose positions are covered by Republic Act No. 6758, the ‘Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989,’ as amended.”

It shall also cover military and uniformed personnel, except for those who are stationed abroad that are already receiving overseas allowances.

“Thereafter, the amount necessary shall be provided in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA),” the bill stated.

Escudero is pushing for increased PERA even as he expressed support for a plan by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to streamline and reorganize the bureaucracy meant to save some P14.8 billion in annual government expenditure.

While stating that the DBM plan is on the “right path,” the Bicolano legislator has acknowledged that “it would be a difficult process.”

“They just have to pour in the time to study which positions are redundant or unnecessary and to make sure that those that may be affected are given proper compensation on top of whatever benefits from the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) in order to help them get by and start anew amidst these trying economic times,” he said.