Sixteen-day shutdown takes toll on Filipino federal workers

By Fleur Magbanua-Mansur, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 21, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ – The White House budget office says furloughed federal workers will see backpay on their Oct. 25 paychecks.

Lawmakers also included a 1% cost-of-living pay hike for federal workers as part of the deal that reopened the government last week.

The raise begins in January and is the first in three years.

Marina Johnson, who works at the Luke Air Force base, said she’s pleased with this development but admitted it’s been tough.

“Especially if you’re waiting for pay stub to pay stub,” Johnson said. “You have utilities and everything. They say wait. [I’ve been] waiting for five days.”

But civilian worker Alma De Garriz, who has been furloughed twice this year said she’s a little doubtful they will get the pay they deserve.

“The first one they did not pay us because that was a different fiscal year,” De Garriz said. “I’m hoping this fiscal year, in October, it’s in the news that we will get paid. I’m not really completely relieved because they say we will get paid. But until I get my paycheck back then there’s no guarantee.”

She said being furloughed made her watch what she spends.

“A lot of sacrifices,” she said. “First things that are out are the luxury—no more eating out, no more shopping on a daily basis.”

De Garriz says the recent government shutdown also forced her to start looking for ways to supplement her income.

“I’ve always been wanting to look for a part-time job. But because of the furlough, it made me realize now is the time,” she said.

These furloughed workers said while the shutdown has taken a toll on their finances, they’re still grateful they have jobs. They can only hope lawmakers don’t get into another standoff because it has clearly affected so many lives.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • libturd
    21 October 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    “no more shopping on a daily basis” – wish everybody had that luxury! now i feel sorry for her…NOT!!!

  • JD
    22 October 2013 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    This federal worker is a dumb, because, she says the furloughed made her watch, what she spends on. So if they was no federal shutdown, she’s going to spend a lot of money on what? And funny she has a good paying job and she can’t save money for a federal shutdown? That’s what happens when you spend your money on anything foolish.