Will raising politician’s salary really curb Corruption?
As the fight for corruption in the Philippine government continues, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV puts forward a bold suggestion that aims to boost politicians’ salary. But will this idea really work?
In Senate Bill No 1689, or Salary Standardization Law 4, originally filed in September last year, Trillanes proposed the creation of a salary classification system for public servants and military personnel. Under the proposal, the new monthly salaries will be:
- President: Php500,000–1,000,000 (from the present Php120,000 a month)
- Cabinet Secretaries: Php600,000–800,000
- Senate President and Speaker of the House: Php432,800 base pay
- Senators and Congressmen: Php352,800 base pay
- Four-star General: Php282,800 base pay
- Private: Php23,000 base pay
- Lowest government personnel rank: Php16,000 base pay (from Php9,000 a month)
According to Trillanes, the competitive salary packages will prevent government employees from resorting to ‘unscrupulous activities in order to augment their meager income.’ With greater income, public servants will also be more encouraged to ‘focus their efforts and energy to public service, curbing corruption and cutting red tape.’
While Trillanes’ aim of improving salaries for government employees in the military and education is generous and may even prevent brain drain, many are of the opinion that the same could not be said for government officials.
Some believe that Trillanes’ line of reasoning is faulty since public officials are elected because they have already been trusted to accomplish their jobs and what is expected of them without further incentives. Many also said that this may just spur corruption instead of curb it.