MMDA Eyes Better Benefits, Incentives for Traffic Personnel
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) aims to give better benefits and incentives to its employees, especially its job order (JO) personnel, many of whom have remained in their positions for more than a decade due to the low number of plantilla positions available.
MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said they have been in talks with Malacañang and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on giving their personnel additional incentive pay to make up for the dangers of their duties.
“Dati kasi may incentive pay na noon. Pero pinatigil ng COA (Commission on Audit) dahil hindi daw tayo qualified diyan, dahil yung interpretasyon nila ng hazard pay ay para sa mga sundalo, kapulisan, humahawak ng armas, na exposed sa danger. Pero sa totoo lang, exposed rin kayo sa danger (There was an incentive pay in the past but this was stopped by the COA due to its interpretation that the hazard pay only applies to soldiers, police personnel–those who carry firearms and are exposed to danger. But in reality, you are also exposed to danger),” Lim told MMDA traffic personnel in a meeting at the MMDA office in Makati City.
To help ensure this incentive, the traffic chief said it need not be called “hazard pay.”
“Wag na lang natin tawagin na ‘hazard pay’–incentive pay. Basta bottom line dito, basta magkaroon kayo ng dagdag na incentive pay (Let’s not call this ‘hazard pay’ anymore–incentive pay. The bottom line is you all must have an additional incentive pay),” Lim said.
Once the Office of the President and the DBM agrees with the proposal, the MMDA hopes that the budget for the incentive will be included in the next financial cycle.
Lim said they have also spoken with leaders of the Social Security System (SSS) about two weeks ago to secure social insurance for MMDA’s JO personnel, who, unlike plantilla employees, do not receive retirement benefits.
“Napag-usapan namin yung napakarami naming tao dito na job order. Ilang taon na, mag-tu-20 years na job order, casual. Pag-retire ng mga tao na ‘to, walang benepisyo (We discussed the plight of the many JO personnel we have here. They have been serving as JO or casual employees for almost 20 years. When they retire, they won’t receive benefits),” he said.
Both the legal and finance departments of the MMDA, he said, have been studying whether the MMDA’s funds from its collection of penalties would be enough to finance the monthly amortization for SSS of all non-plantilla personnel.
Meanwhile, he said a new building meant to house their ever-growing personnel is under construction in an old MMDA impounding site in Doña Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.
“Ang plano natin para sa isang mas magandang opisina, building para sa MMDA, inuumpisahan na. Nag-e-excavate na tayo dun sa bagong site natin. Sa loob ng dalawa o dalawa’t kalahating taon, magkakaroon tayo ng bagong bahay na modern (We have begun carrying out our plan for a better office building for the MMDA. Excavation in our new site has started. Within two to two-and-a-half years, we’ll have a new and modern home),” Lim said.