PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has assured the state forces that his promised increase of their salaries will be felt within this year.
“I’d like to tell you that we will go ahead with the [salary] increases of the soldiers of the police and the military… This will take effect this year,” the President told the troops of Western Mindanao Command during their meeting on Thursday afternoon in Zamboanga City.
Duterte made the pledge after Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno had said that the double pay among police and military is not included in the proposed P3.35-trillion budget for 2017.
Diokno said the government still has to study the proposed salary increase, citing concern that it has to first pay the pension fund of the soldiers and policemen.
"In fact, we are trying to consider everything. The problem is that the government already owes so much the pension fund of the [soldiers] and policemen. It has ballooned," he said.
The President, who vowed during the campaign to raise the gross pay of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said that he would eventually fulfill his promise.
He also guaranteed that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation would be granted a pay hike.
“Let’s do things slowly because we don’t have enough funds… Remember that I entered the presidency mid-stream so I have to just make a go of what’s available but I will prioritize you,” Duterte said.
“I want to assure everybody in this Republic, especially those in the government, that you have a President who will share with you the problems, and of course, the blessing that we get from God and from the people of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added. (Sunnex)