The government has announced it will grant 50,000 riel to each civil servant, contracted officer, retiree of all kinds and officers of the Armed Forces on the occasion of the Pchum Ben festival. This year’s festival will run from September 24-26.
According to a decision signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and published on September 13, the release of the subsidy will be implemented before Pchum Ben. A similar bonus will also be paid on Khmer New year.
Phay Siphan, a government spokesman, told The Post on September 13 that the subsidy was a tradition during important national festivals.
He said that although the amount may not seem like much, it makes up a significant portion of the government’s modest budget. This demonstrates the compassion of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and his clear appreciation for the work that civil servants do.
“This bonus will be given to all officials who collect a salary from the government,” he said.
Youk Bunna, secretary of state at the Ministry of Civil Service, told The Post on September 13 that the provision of gifts for both the Pchum Ben and New Year celebrations began during the previous mandate. The government understood that there are many family gatherings and events taking place, and that they can be expensive.
“This bonus is at the behest of the government, as well as the prime minister. Even during the difficult situation sparked by Covid-19, he still provides this encouragement to civil servants,” he said.
He said that the head of government had pushed for the payments to be made, despite the cost to the national budget.
According to Bunna, more than 400,000 civil servants will get the grant.
Nop Sreyhak, a primary school teacher in Kampong Speu province, told The Post on September 13 that she was happy and thanked the government for always providing a bonus to civil servants on the occasion of national festivals. She said that even though the allowance was small, it would contribute to her expenses over the holiday.