The Department of Budget and Management said that the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) system is different from the 13th month pay, year-end cash bonus, and Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) for government employees, citing the unique, merit-based nature of the performance-based perks.
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the PBB is distinct from an employee's year-end cash bonus, 13th month pay, and PEI because the purpose of it is to ensure that public servants receive due recognition for their efforts.
''An outstanding employee, for example, will receive a significantly higher PBB - on top of the other bonuses given to him - than a worker who merely fulfills the bare minimum of his duties,'' Abad said.
Civil servants are entitled to receive 13th month pay - equivalent to their monthly salary - as well as a year-end cash gift of P5,000 and PEI worth P5,000.
Abad disputed claims, however, that all government employees are guaranteed to receive a performance-based bonuses.
''In contrast to the other bonuses, the PBB is certainly not an entitlement. Because the PBB system is a decisively merit-based scheme, employees who underperform or fail to meet their targets won't actually receive anything. Why reward someone who works poorly or inefficiently?'' he said.
The budget chief added that the PBB system was designed to address a longstanding problem in the Philippine bureaucracy, where the distribution of bonuses - and their corresponding amounts - was sometimes arbitrary or subject to biases.
''We've seen cases of employees receiving hefty perks with little justification. At the same time, many civil servants who turn out exceptional work don't always get the recognition they deserve. This can be very demoralizing, especially if you've served the government for a long time and you do your best in every task.
''Under this Administration, however, the distribution of performance-based bonuses will be commanded solely by merit and the quality of an employee's performance. The targets are actually measurable and strictly empirical, so that office higher-ups can preserve the objectivity of their assessments,'' Abad said.
He also emphasized the reform value of the PBB system, especially in view of the Aquino administration's commitment to provide better and more efficient public goods and services to Filipinos.
''Overall, we're instituting the PBB scheme so that government workers will be encouraged to boost their efficiency and productivity. We're showing them that exceptional performance in government will not go unrecognized. What this ultimately translates to are improved services to Filipinos, not to mention greater morale among public servants and visible, positive reform across the bureaucracy,'' Abad said.