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Soldiers now qualified for hazard pay for duty in Sulu

/ 05:28 PM June 28, 2019

Members of the Marine Battalion Landing-8 attend a send-off ceremony for their tour-of-duty in Sulu province. PHOTO FROM PHILIPPINE MARINES

MANILA, Philippines — Soldiers deployed to Sulu, one of the most conflict-ridden areas in the country, would now start getting hazard pay on top of their salaries.

Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., armed forces vice chief of staff, told reporters on Friday (June 28) that soldiers on duty in Sulu province would receive hazard pay equivalent to half of their base pay.

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Collado said the extra pay was made possible by the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte about the need to include Sulu on the list of areas considered hazardous for soldiers.

Duterte’s pledge to provide hazard pay for soldiers in Sulu took effect in May.

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Sulu is a known stronghold of the homegrown terror group Abu Sayyaf and other armed groups associated with kidnappings, bombings, and extortion. The military has created a new division-sized military unit to address security problems in the predominantly Muslim province.

On Friday (June 28), the Philippine Navy held a ceremony for the Sulu-bound Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 which recently completed nine months of retraining.

The battalion was previously deployed to Sta. Ana, Cagayan province before the retraining. It will replace the MBLT-3, which was moved to Palawan.

Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Navy chief, said the MBLT-8 “is now fresh, more powerful and with refurbished capabilities.”

“They are ready to fight again,” Empedrad said.

Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreno, Marine commandant, told his Sulu-bound men to be “culturally sensitive and respect local customs, traditions and norms” in their new tour-of-duty.

“Always speak peace and development,” he added. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, duterte, Empedrad, hazard pay, Marines, Navy, Sulu
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