Government employees, including civil servants, the police, military personnel, contract staff, casual workers and retired officials, will receive 50,000 riel ($12.50) per person before the Pchum Ben festival, a sub-decree dated last Thursday said.
“The Ministry of Economy and Finance and relevant ministries and institutions shall cooperate and arrange advanced payment of the stipend to each individual during the first salary provision of September 2019,” the sub-decree said.
Ministry of Civil Service undersecretary of state Chut Monny told The Post on Sunday that Cambodia currently has more than 200,000 civil servants, but that he is unsure of the total amount to be paid to government employees for Pchum Ben.
“My ministry only manages civil servants, not the police and the military,” he said.
Eng Touch, the deputy director-general of the General Department of Budget at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said on Sunday that he was not certain what the total financial outlay for government employees would be.
“I need some time to contact the expert officials to confirm the numbers. Then, I can provide you with the figure later,” he said.
Monny said the government decided to provide 50,000 riel to its employees twice a year for six years before the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben festivals.
Leng Vanny, an English teacher at Hun Sen Peam Chileang High School in Tbong Khmum province, told The Post he had seen on Facebook that a 50,000 riel stipend would be provided in the second week of September, but said the money would not go far.
“It’s not going to help much because we can’t do anything with 50,000 riel. I’ll spend more than that if I buy one box of orange juice.
“The money is not enough to share with our relatives during Pchum Ben. Some teachers work far from home and the money won’t even cover their journey home,” he said.
Ministry of Education spokesman Ros Soveacha said the ministry had been working hard to improve teachers’ livelihoods for the past five years and this subsidy was designed to help with that. “In addition to this one-off payment, the Ministry of Education is also looking to increase salaries,” he said.
Cambodia has 9,373 teachers in kindergartens up to high schools, with a monthly salary of 1.2 million riel ($300) for primary school teachers, 1.3 million riel for those at secondary school and 1.4 million riel for high school teachers.
A statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance said from next year, all civil servants will receive a seven per cent pay rise.