Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III has an early gift for employees of the Senate.
During the flag-raising ceremony on July 30, Sotto revealed that he has approved the request of the union Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (SENADO) to increase the grocery and transportation expense (GRTE) allowance for Senate workers.
According to Sotto, the subsistence allowance has increased by Php 5,000 based on the recommendation of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Accounts, and the financial and budgetary situation of the Upper House of Congress.
From the previous Php 10,000 subsistence allowance, the GRTE is now Php 15,000 effective July 1.
The senator explained that the increase in allowance is in recognition of the dedication shown by Senate employees, and due to the recent price hike of goods.
“More than anything else I would like to assure everyone na kahit ano po ang mangyari, at sa abot ng aking makakaya, ay hindi po namin pababayaan ang Senado at ang mga empleyado nito,” Sotto said during the flag-raising ceremony.
Sotto also clarified that the Senate personnel have been requesting an increasing in allowance, even before the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“Medyo matagal-tagal na rin na panahon, yung mga members ng union ng Senado, hindi maiwasan dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo, ng inflation, matagal na nila hinihingi yan,” Sotto told reporters.
“Hindi naman directly. Siguro dahil tumatataas ang mga presyo, hindi natin maiwasan na tulungan yung mga empleyado natin dahil napakabigat ng trabaho nila na ginagawa dito,” Sotto added.