Sunday, November 14, 2004

2004 Merit Incentive and Rice Subsidy Released to UP Manila Employees

Release of both benefits belied the rumor that the P1,000.00 worth of rice subsidy will be deducted from the P5,000.00 Merit Incentive Bonus.

The first batch of the 2004 Merit Incentive Bonus amounting to P5,000.00 and the P1,000.00 worth of Rice Subsidy equivalent to 56 kgs. of Sinandomeng rice variety were released last week to all qualified UP Manila and PGH employees. The distribution of rice subsidy was started on Monday, November 8, 2004 and as of Friday, November 12, 2004, only about 300 of the 3,409 qualified employees have yet to received their rice deliveries. Meanwhile the first batch of the 2004 Merit Incentive Bonus amounting to 5,000.00 was released early evening of Thursday, November 11, 2004 through each employees' Savings Account in the Philippine National Bank.

The release of P5,000.00 Merit Incentive belied the persistent rumor since last month in employees' lounges that the rice subsidy for this year will be deducted from the merit incentive bonus.

The Merit Incentive Bonus was authorized through the 1188th meeting of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) held last October 28, 2004 and the subsequent Memorandum No. FN-04-26 dated October 29, 2004 issued by President Francisco Nemenzo. The said BOR meeting further gave authority to President Nemenzo, "to give additional merit incentive and the authority to decide when such merit incentive shall be released." Said BOR meeting further clarified that the merit incentive is not a "new" or "additional" benefit which are suspended under Section 3 (b) of Administrative Order 103 of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo dated 31 August 2004 "Directing the Continued Adoption of Austerity Measures in the Governement." It states finally, that the grant of merit incentive "is also in keeping with the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) between U.P. and the All U.P. Workers Union.

In the history of merit incentive bonus in the University, the lowest was given in the year 1999 when U.P. and P.G.H. employees only received P2,500.00. The All U.P. Workers Union then was not the recognized union of of the University. The Merit Incentive Bonus only goes up to P10,000.00 level starting in 2001. Incidentally, 2001 was also the year that the All U.P. Workers Union won in the Certification Election held on April 2001. Such amount was maintained in 2002 and went down a bit at P9,000.00 in 2003.

This year 2004, as early as October 18, 2004 our National President, Mr. Clodualdo "Buboy" Cabrera wrote President Nemenzo, conveying our request for the said incentive saying that: "sana'y mas higit pa sa ibinibigay sa nakaraang tatlong taon." Said letter further expresses our collective concern in stating: "Napakalaki ng maitutulong nito sa lahat ng empleyado upang kahit papaano ay makaagapay sa napakatinding krisis pangkabuhayan na dinaranas ng milyong-milyong mamamayan sa kasalukuyan."

No comments: