Commune and Village Officials To See Salary Increase in 2011

Commune and village level government officials can look forward to an increase in their modest salaries in 2011 of up to 50 percent, according to a new government sub-decree.

According to a copy signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Oct 25 and released on the Interior Ministry’s website, in 2011 commune chiefs will see a pay rise from about $24 to $36 per month, while their deputies will get $28.50, up from $20. Commune councilors will earn about $24, an increase from $17 now.

The sub-decree said village chiefs would get $5 raises to $15 next year, while their deputies will earn $12, up from $7 now. Village chief assistants will get about $10 per month, up from $6.

Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, welcomed the salary increase, saying it was much deserved as local level officials were among the most effective civil servants. He said that as elected off­i­cials, they showed a higher level of accountability towards the community than others.

Mr Panha said the rise in salaries “will really contribute to improve the performance of the commune council,” adding, “it’s not enough because it’s a very small amount of money because they work hard at commune level. If the government can increase more it would be best.”

Him Yep, the chief of Chraing Camreh I commune in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district, said the salary increase was overdue, adding that the raise was still insufficient to support their living conditions, as living costs had increasing rapidly in recent years.

“I think that [the increase] is not high because everything is expensive,” Mr Yep said, adding that commune chiefs should be given at least $75 per month.

Kwan Thiya, a commune councilor in Battambang province’s Koh Chivaing commune in Ek Phnom district, said he thought the new salary was “a little bit better,” before adding, “If we depend on only [government] salary it is not sufficient to support the living, but I work as a fisherman to earn money.”



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