by Mateusz Mazur

PAGCOR Seeks Fair Compensation for Tenured Employees with New Salary Steps

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), in a bid to rectify pay scale distortions and ensure equitable compensation for its workforce, has recently made a significant move.

The state-run gaming agency has reached out to the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) seeking approval for salary step increments based on employees’ length of service. This initiative is a direct response to the unintended consequences of the newly implemented Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS), which led to a decrease in take-home pay for a majority of PAGCOR employees.

Addressing Compensation Concerns

In a formal communication to GCG Chairperson Atty. Marius Corpus dated February 22, 2024, PAGCOR’s Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco outlined the board’s decision to introduce step increments as a means to prioritize employee welfare and correct salary imbalances. “Parallel to the thrust of the PAGCOR Board of Directors to prioritize the welfare of the employees, the PAGCOR Board approved the Implementation of Step Increment based on Length of Service, subject to GCG’s review and approval,” Tengco stated.

The decision to appeal for step increments emerges as a crucial step towards aligning PAGCOR’s compensation packages with those offered by other revenue-generating Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), ensuring competitive salaries and benefits for its employees.

Challenges Under the New CPCS

The transition to the CPCS on January 31, 2024, although well-intentioned, led to widespread employee dissatisfaction. The system’s implementation saw all employees, irrespective of their tenure, being placed at Pay Step 1. This resulted in a new employee earning the same as a colleague who might have dedicated 15 years or more to the same position, creating significant disparities within the organization.

During a Senate Hearing on February 21, 2024, discussions between Tengco and Corpus brought these issues to the forefront, emphasizing the need for a swift and just resolution to the pay scale distortions caused by the CPCS.

Looking Forward

Tengco’s appeal for the Step Increment is just the beginning of a series of measures PAGCOR plans to introduce to address the reduction in employees’ take-home pay, particularly for those at the lower echelons of the organization. “We hope that the GCG will positively respond to our appeal so that all tenured PAGCOR employees will not feel shortchanged, and instead receive the compensation that they deserve under the bounds of the law,” Tengco added.

A key aspect of the CPCS guidelines is the provision that allows for a step increment to be awarded for every three years of continuous satisfactory service, a policy that if implemented, would benefit 72.60% of PAGCOR’s workforce who have been in service for more than three years as of December 31, 2023.

Our Comment on the Article

PAGCOR’s initiative to seek GCG approval for salary step increments is a commendable step towards ensuring fair compensation for its employees, reflecting the organization’s commitment to its workforce’s welfare. The move to correct the imbalances caused by the new CPCS is crucial for maintaining employee morale and motivation, especially for those who have dedicated years of service to the corporation.

As PAGCOR awaits GCG’s response, the gaming industry watches closely, recognizing the broader implications for employee satisfaction and retention within the sector. This development is not only about rectifying a pay scale issue but also about reinforcing the value of experience and loyalty in the workplace.

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