REPORT ON THE LBPEA MEETING
AUGUST 19-20, 2010
By SONIA D. BROTARLO
The LBPEA National Executive Board held its regular meeting for the month of August 2010. The agenda primarily focused on our pending Salary Increase and on various issues which where highlighted on national broadsheets such as the standardization of GOCC and GFI salary, the COA issuance report on the salary of top officers and the SONA of Pres. Noynoy Aquino who made mention of the MWSS benefits.
LETTER FOR PRES. PICO ON SALARY INCREASE
Collective petitions on demand for salary increase received from rank-and-file employees from different regions bankwide were consolidated by LBPEA Officers.
A letter was then prepared by the LBPEA Officers addressed to Pres. Pico informing her of the petitions and concerns of employees on the uncertainty of our salary increase. A request for copy of the New Compensation Plan was also included on the letter.
There was also discussion between LBPEA officers on the possibility of doing a follow-up with DBM. However, this plan would require finalization by the NEB on the next meeting.
The letter with copies of various petitions will be submitted to the Office of the President after the Senate Inquiry.
ON SENATE INQUIRY
The LBPEA Officers were then informed that there was an invitation for Pres. Pico to appear at the Senate Investigative Body for the “Senate Inquiry”.
There was even initial report from our LandBank-Senate Branch that LBPEA might be invited also. However, no invitation was received from Senate as of the date of meeting.
BENEFITS OF LANDBANKERS DULY CONFIRMED BY DBM AND APPROVED BY MALACANANG
The management was able to have all our benefits approved by Malacañang. The significance of the approval is to legitimize the benefits we were able to receive and avoid complications if placed under scrutiny.
This is in consonance with item no. 9 of the SSL III or Congress Joint Resolution No. 4 approved on June 17, 2009 which requires the approval of the President upon recommendation of DBM on the grant of allowances, benefits and incentives of Exempt Entities. (Copy of the Joint Resolution is hereby included)
There was an exhaustive discussion on the possibility of having our HMO fund managed by a third-party administrator.
Pres. Lito Chua-who conceptualized the plan discussed to the LBPEA Officers the HMO Utilization Rate for the past years.
The concept is good since it will do away with our HMO Provider and a third-party administrator will be hired under the supervision and control of LBPEA. If there will be excess in fund after the year of utilization, it will be returned to the members. However, the problem is in case of deficiency, the members will be made to contribute again. This idea earned negative comments from the officers present as it will be difficult to force the employees to contribute should there be deficiency.
A thorough study of the concept was also required inorder to address the gray areas on the fund administration.
Reports from various committee chairmen were also requested for the next LBPEA meeting so that the Officers from outside Metro Manila would be informed as to the different activities of the different committees
COLLECTIVE NEGOTIATION AGREEMENT (CNA) RENEWAL ON 2011
The CNA approved on August 8, 2008 will be subject to renewal before August 8, 2011. Gathering of inputs for negotiation will be made by the National Executive Board.
LUNCHEON MEETING WITH EVP SIMEONA GUEVARRA
A luncheon meeting with EVP Baby Guevarra was feted as thanksgiving of LBPEA for all the support she gave to the association which benefited the LandBankers as a whole. As Head of the Corporate Services Sector, the windfall benefits we requested from management passed through her.
ON COLA CASE
There was no update from Atty. Martinez regarding the case but Batch 1 is still with the Court of Appeals. Nonetheless, as previously discussed, the integration of COLA into the standardized salary rates is not dependent on the publication of CCC 10 and NCC 59. This benefit is deemed included in the standardized salary rates of government employees since it falls under the general rule of integration—“all allowances.”
Our COLA lawyers are trying so hard to have the case win.
However, the recent Supreme Court En Banc Decision dated March 18, 2010 on the consolidated cases on COLA G.R. No. 153266 denied the payment of COLA since it was already integrated into the standardized salary rates. Here is an excerpt from the case:
Consequently, the non-publication of CCC 10 and NCC 59 in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation does not nullify the integration of COLA into the standardized salary rates upon the effectivity of R.A. 6758. As the Court has said in Philippine International Trading Corporation v. Commission on Audit,  the validity of R.A. 6758 should not be made to depend on the validity of its implementing rules.
CONGRESSIONAL JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4
Joint Resolution No. 4 otherwise known as the Salary Standardization Law III specifically item No. 9 on page 16 and 17 states that:Provided, further, That any increase in the existing salary rates as well as the grant of new allowances, benefits and incentives, or an increase in the rates thereof shall be subject
to the approval of the President upon recommendation of the DBM:
This is the very reason for the delayed implementation of our Salary Increase- recommendation of DBM and approval of the President.