Most Cabinet members donate 75% of pay to govt. efforts for duration of COVID-19 crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 4) — A majority of the Cabinet members have volunteered to take monthly pay cuts to help the government contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases announced Saturday.

Karamihan na mga miyembro ng gabinete ni pangulong Duterte ay boluntaryong ibibigay ang 75 percent ng kanilang buwanang sahod upang ilaan sa mga programa ng gobyerno upang sugpuin ang COVID-19 sa panahong ipinapatupad ang Bayanihan [to Heal As One Act],” task force spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a televised briefing.

[Translation: Most of the Cabinet members will volunteer to give 75 percent of their monthly salary which will go to the current programs aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 while the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act is in effect.]

He said some of the top officials in the executive branch will donate a huge chunk of their monthly salary until December this year.

The Cabinet members, who are composed of department secretaries, executive secretary, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority and Commission on Higher Education chairperson, are under salary grade 31.

Currently, thanks to the first tranch of a law granting wage increases to government employees, most of them supposedly get between ₱262,965 and ₱301,095 monthly. Last year, they purportedly received ₱257,809 and ₱295,191 on a monthly basis, according to DBM circular.

In January, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Salary Standardization Law of 2019 which granted annual salary increases to government employees this year up to 2023. 

Duterte had earlier approved the recommendations of the IATF to restrict the movement of people, ordering most except for those rendering vital services to stay at home, in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19. The quarantine is scheduled to last until April 12.

On March 24, the chief also signed a law declaring the existence of a national emergency and granting him additional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The disease has so far infected over 3,000 people and killed 144 in the country.