Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Civil servants to get pay raise

PM: Civil servants to get pay raise

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Royal School of Administration students during the graduation ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the OCIC convention centre in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district on June 13. Hong Menea

PM: Civil servants to get pay raise

After a two-year Covid-19 hiatus, Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 13 announced a pay raise for more than 360,000 civil servants effective in 2023, with health and education officials receiving the highest raise and now earning a base salary of 1.5 million riel ($375).

Hun Sen announced the pay raise at a graduation ceremony for 2,000 students from the Royal School of Administration.

“We prepared the budget for next year ... We failed to offer them a pay raise for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021. Now we’ll increase it without thinking about percentages.

“We’ll increase it accordingly: Lower-salary earners will get a bigger pay raise than high-salary earners. Teachers and medical staff will now be paid 1.5 million riel – from between 1.2 and 1.3 million riel previously. We can do this now because we have curtailed a lot of spending compared to the Covid period,” he added.

Hun Sen said that despite the world being in chaos due to war and the pandemic, Cambodia’s economy has yet to reach the level of risk that would portend its collapse.

The premier also recommended that Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth consider implementing a salary tax deduction to help low-salary earners in the state and private sectors or by just raising the ceiling on taxable salaries.

“For those with a salary below 1.5 million riel, we can make it so that it’s not taxable. We do so in order to avoid having those with the lowest salaries being taxed and ensuring those with higher salaries are taxed. We’re thinking about doing this in both the public and private sectors,” he said.

Hun Sen emphasised that civil servants have to serve the people honestly and they should not consider themselves bosses. They must solve problems for the people even if they are small ones.

“What I want to remind our officials is they have to remember and remind themselves on a regular basis that we are the officials who must serve the people honestly, not the bosses of people,” he said.

“Please grasp this point that we are servants of people, not their bosses, and we have to consider service the goal of what we must do. As an official, if we do not consider service our goal, then we don’t need to be officials,” he said.

Ministry of Civil Service spokesman Youk Bunna said on June 13 that the government plans to offer a pay raise in 2023, but first they must prepare the budget law and take into account other expenditures throughout the year.

“This pay raise will be offered to civil servants nationwide and members of the armed forces, not just to teachers and medical staff. [Hun Sen] is aware of all of that, he’s just making mention of the priority sectors of health and education. But the government has to make plans that include the general civil servants, including the armed forces and other officials at the sub-national levels,” he said.

Bunna added that the government had planned to increase the salaries of civil servants as part of its five-year plan running from 2018-2023, but failed to do so due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“We have managed to handle the Covid situation well and the possibility of increasing civil servant income is strong. That’s why the government thought of this matter. So, we have the possibility of doing all this work,” he said.

“It is a contribution to supporting the improvement of public services. It will encourage civil servants to focus on their work and strive to serve people even better and it will help sustain the livelihoods of civil servants, allowing them to better contribute to improvement in public services.”

Bunna continued that there are now more than 210,000 civil servants in the government, including 120,000 teachers, 20,000 medical staffers, and more than 150,000 members of the armed forces.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10