Friday, November 11, 2005

All-Government Employees’ COLA Coalition's: MANIFESTO OF UNITY

The following Manifesto of Unity by the "All Government Employees COLA Coalition was adopted by the convenors during its 2nd meeting held at the CSWCD, U.P. Diliman on November 8, 2005.


WHEREAS, the Congress enacted Republic Act No. 6758 otherwise known as the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) for Government Employees effective July 1, 1989;

WHEREAS, section 12 of the said law provides for the consolidation of allowances and compensation into the basic salary of government employees except for those allowances enumerated therein and those that may be determined by Department of Budget and Management (DBM);

WHEREAS, to implement the quoted provision that DBM will determine such other allowances/and or additional compensation that may be deemed integrated into the basic salary, Sec. Diokno issued DBM Corporate Compensation Circular No.10, DBM National Compensation Circular Nos. 56 & 59 integrating among others the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) into the basic Salary;

WHEREAS, the DBM failed to inform the employees concerned by way of publication, and as required by law, its plan to integrate the COLA into the basic salary;

WHEREAS, the DBM published DBM CCC No. 10 only on March 16, 1999 and DBM NCC no. 59 and 56 only on May 3, 2004;

WHEREAS, since the time the law on salary standardization became effective, we as government employees have been unlawfully deprived of our COLA;

WHEREAS, salaries of the vast majority of government employees fall below the ever-rising cost of living, resulting in increasing economic hardship for the rank-and-file;

WHEREAS, the unlawful deprivation of COLA further eroded the living standards of government employees;

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court in the case of Philippine Ports Authority employees vs. Commission on Audit (G.R. 160396) held in favor of the grant of COLA to the employees of PPA covering the period from July 1, 1989 to March 16, 1999;

WHEREAS, under the doctrine of stare decisis, the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of PPA vs. COA shall be applicable to all government employees because we are all similarly situated with the PPA employees, the issue being non-publication of DBM Circulars which were supposed to integrate COLA into the basic salaries;

WHEREAS, the National Government should pay COLA not only to the employees of the GOCC and GFIs but also to the employees in the National Government Agencies under the principle of equal protection of the law;

WHEREAS, in a Cabinet meeting on September 9, 2005, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the DBM to release P1 billion as initial “staggered payment” of the unpaid COLA of government employees;

WHEREAS, said order was rescinded following a recommendation by DBM that payment of COLA be deferred;

WHEREAS, the DBM, in its National Budget Circular 2005-502, dated October 26, 2005, continues to prohibit the payment of the COLA of national government agency employees based on the argument that COLA was already integrated into the basic salary and that payment of the same will allegedly cause double compensation;

WHEREAS, said argument was already thrown out by the Supreme Court in the case of PPA vs. COA;

WHEREAS, Malacanang’s continued refusal to pay the back COLA constitutes a denial of justice to government employees nationwide, who have long clamored for restitution;

WHEREAS, government employees nationwide have banded together to form the All-Government Employees’ COLA Coalition;

WHEREFORE, the Coalition hereby demands the following:

1) The immediate payment by the National Government of the unpaid COLA of national and local government agency, state universities and colleges, government-owned and controlled corporation and government financial institution employees;

2) That each individual employee entitled to back COLA be provided with an individual computation of the amount due him/her, based on official payroll records;

3) The allocation by National Government of a budget for the payment of said COLA.

Convenors:

Alliance of Health Workers (AHW)
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)
Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE)
Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA)
Quezon City Public School Teachers Association (QCPSTA)
All-UP Workers Union
All-UP Academic Employees Union
Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital Employees Union
National Children Hospital Employees Association
San Lazaro Hospital Employees Association - AHW
Tondo Medical Center Employees Association - AHW
National Orthopedic Hospital Workers Union - AHW
National Center for Mental Health Employees Association - AHW
Makati Public School Teachers Association
Department of Labor and Employment Employees Union - COURAGE
Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines - COURAGE
Department of Education Employees Union