[EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the years, Spin.ph has been routinely getting questions from readers about a variety of subjects - from tournament formats to player salaries to rules clarifications to personal information about players. Some may seem trivial, but obviously not for readers who take the time to toss the questions on our social media pages, begging for an answer. That's the reason we've decided to come up with this Q & A section, in the hope of clearing up some matters for our readers. Here's Part II of the series]
Question: How much does a referee in the PBA make in a month?
Answer: Based on a research done by Spin.ph, a PBA referee earns a basic salary of between P20,000 to P40,000 a month depending on which class he belongs to. The P20,000 is actually the starting pay for officials in the pro league, with his salary increasing as he moves up in rank.
Most basketball fanatics grow up dreaming of becoming PBA players and not to be referees, but the men in gray shirts aren't doing too bad financially. One referee who spoke on condition that he not be named said their salaries regularly increase in increment of between P2,000 to P5,000 a month depending on performance.
"May iba pa ko alam dinadagdagan ni Kume (Commissioner Chito Salud) ng 2k a month sa sweldo, may iba 3k, may iba naman 4k o 5k. Iba-iba eh, kaya dapat husayan mo," he said.
Their basic monthly salary can also reach as much as P40,000 a month once they become Class A referees. Of the 15 referees that officiated in the current Commissioner's Cup, only four are labeled Class A refs, namely Art Herrera, Peter Balao, Nhol Quilinguen, and Jimmy Mariano.
Aside from the basic salary, PBA referees are also guaranteed an allowance of P500 per game day, which goes up to P2,000 if they are tapped to officiate in a game.
However, becoming a PBA referee is not easy.
All applicants go through rigid screening. If they get past that, they are required to go through a series of rigorous training at the PBA Referees Academy, which accepts applicants every offseason, preferably in June.
Once a referee passes the training, he is then issued a license. Top junior referees are then asked to officiate in the games of the D-League.
"Nag-aaral maigi mga referees natin tapos pag pwede na, isasalang na namin sila sa D-League," said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial.
This, however, does not mean that he is already eligible to handle games in the PBA.
"Depende sa performance ng referee saka namin siya iaakyat sa PBA," said Marcial, who revealed that two lady referees are now part of the D-League pool and candidates to be elevated to the big league.
"May dalawang babae ang tumatakbo na sa D-League. Maganda pinapakita nila kaya pinag aaralan nang iakyat sila sa PBA," said Marcial.
The job also has risks, financially.
The referees' basic salary tends to fluctuate as he is demoted or promoted in class. He also stands to be suspended - without pay - for grievious mistakes during games, or fined for smaller errors.
"Naku may fine po kami. Pag sinabing one game (fine), equivalent ng one day na sweldo ikakaltas sa amin," said the referee.
"Kaya po talagang sinisikap namin na ayusin talaga ang pito, kaso syempre tao lang rin kami. Naka-base kami sa real time calls. 'Pag po mali tawag, sasabihin ni Kume 'yun. Kasunod nun ang sanction."