President Benigno Aquino III expressed confidence on Tuesday that the government could increase the salaries of its workers next year.

During the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum in Naga City, Aquino told a state employee that the government would be able to implement the fourth phase of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL4).

“Itong SSL4, mukhang may kakayahan tayo,” Aquino said. “Nandiyan si (Budget Secretary) Butch (Abad). Actually, ikaw nga pala ang nagbi-brief sa akin ‘nung isang araw na mukhang kaya natin ito. Hinihintay ko na lahat ‘nung detalye, tapos siyempre, hihingi tayo ng pahintulot sa Kongreso.”

Abad earlier said that a total of P50.6 billion was included in the proposed P3.002-trillion national budget for 2016 for the possible increase in the salaries of state workers. This would translate to an average P3,000 a month increase in the salary of each of the 1.3 million government employees.

Apart from the proposed wage hike, Aquino said the government has given Productivity Enhancement Incentives to its employees and has transitioned into providing performance-based bonuses.

“Ang pagkaintindi ko tapos na lahat ‘nung kailangan na mga studies na ginawa dahil gusto natin, siyempre, ‘yung konsepto ng equal pay for equal work. Kailangan nating i-recognize ‘yung mga nakikiambag na tama na kawani ng gobyerno.


Thai authorities said Tuesday they were hunting a man shown on security footage strolling into a packed religious shrine wearing a bright yellow T-shirt and leaving a backpack before an explosion killed at least 20 people.

The attack occurred on Monday in one of the Thai capital’s most popular tourism hubs, ripping through a crowd of worshippers at the Hindu shrine close to five-star hotels and upscale shopping malls.

At least 11 of the victims were foreigners, with Chinese, Hong Kong, Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian citizens among the 20 confirmed killed, police said.

More than 100 other people were injured in the blast that left body parts, shattered glass and incinerated motorcycles strewn across the crushed concrete of a busy intersection.

crime scene

Midnight killer: The 1976 Moro Gulf tsunami

It was 10 minutes past midnight of August 17, 1976, a Tuesday.

While most people were sleeping, a massive earthquake, registering magnitude 8.0 on the Richter scale, rocked most of Mindanao and parts of the Visayas.

The tremor was most strongly felt in the cities and towns surrounding the Moro Gulf, particularly in Cotabato City, which now hosts the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

What made the 1976 Moro Gulf Quake most devastating, however, was not just the degree of the earth shaking. READ MORE