BI pleads Duterte to reconsider suspension of their overtime pay

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President Rodrigo Duterte recently vetoed the use of express lane funds to pay for the overtime wage of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) workers to which the bureau appealed to be foregone while a salary grade increase is still in the works.
Photo credits: GMA Network

The suspension of the overtime pay has already led to six personnel resigning, 30 to go on a leave of absence, and more than 100 who requested for their certificate of employment.

"Kapag ito, maibalik ang express lane fund for the augmentation ng salary namin, lalakas ang moral ng aming kasamahang immigration officers. Sila ay patuloy na magtatarabaho at actually pinipilit namin na ibalik ang serbisyo namin," said President of the Immigration Officers Association of the Philippines German Robin.

To add to the current dilemma, the bureau had always been understaffed which compels them to do overtime work. The ideal number of immigration officers should be 7,000, however, BI only has over 2,000 regular and contractual employees due to the fact that the BI has a very low salary grade compared to other departments.

A lawyer working at the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) earns a basic salary of P70,000, while a lawyer in BI only earns P33,000 to think that both these offices are under the Department of Justice.

Duterte had reasoned that using express lane funds to pay for BI workers’ overtime wage has no legal basis and should instead be rechanneled to the income of the General Fund.

However, President of the Employees Union Buklod-CID Atty. Gregorio Sadiasa said that it is provided for in the Commonwealth Act 613 or the Immigration Act that they may collect express lane fees that do not have to be deposited into the national treasury.

Robin said that the bureau was ready to forego the overtime pay "in the premise na upgraded ang salary grades at kung ano ang dapat na ibigay na benefit sa isang BI personnel na nagre-render, discharge ng function as law enforcer, ibigay... Ang kailangan natin ngayon ay immediate solution."

While the issue has yet to come to a solution, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente appealed to BI employees to focus on their job despite the issue on overtime pay.

“We stand together in this quest for what is due and proper. We must continue to act with professionalism and prudence, strong and confident in the belief that justice will prevail,” Morente said.

Along with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Morente they appealed to the President that an overtime pay scheme will be temporarily in place while a salary grade upgrade is still in the works.


BI pleads Duterte to reconsider suspension of their overtime pay BI pleads Duterte to reconsider suspension of their overtime pay Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on April 05, 2017 Rating: 5

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