Drilon expects updates on Duterte campaign promises in 1st Sona
Outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon enumerated on Thursday his expectations from President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, including his campaign promise to raise the minimum pay of policemen to P50,000 a month.
Drilon said he expects to hear in particular from Duterte how Congress could help fulfill his administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
“In his 10-point socioeconomic agenda are measures to improve his social protection programs, which include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the 4PS or the Conditional Cash Transfer. We’d like to hear how he intends to improve this particular social protection program,” he said at a forum in the Senate.
“We also have heard him promise our policemen that they will have a minimum of P50,000 per month salary. The policemen are looking forward to this increase given the role of fulfilling President Duterte’s anti-criminality campaign. We’d like to hear how the President intends to fund this minimum salary for our policemen of P50,000.”
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the salary increase for law enforcers promised by Duterte was not yet included in the proposed P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017. He noted though that the pay increases for the law enforcers were already included in the second tranche of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).
While the salary increases were provided for under the SSL, Drilon said it must be funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2017.
“Firstly, the executive order signed by President (Benigno) Aquino before he left provides for salary increases for over three or four years, which however, must be funded by the General Appropriations Act. For example, the increases for 2017, which was indicated in that executive order signed by President Aquino before he left, should be reflected in the General Appropriations Act for 2017,” he explained.
“I have not yet seen the budget for 2017 so I can’t say what the situation is. I don’t know if the salary increases which were provided for in that executive order will be funded in the 2017 budget which will be submitted by the President to Congress . So I don’t know, I’m in the dark as to what the situation is,” he added.
If the salary increases are not funded, then Drilon said there will be no pay hikes.
“If it is funded, I want to know how much it is because President Duterte has indicated that he would want a minimum of P50,000 per month for the PO1, the lowest rate. So I’d like to see how this will be funded in the budget.”
“Remember, it was just an executive order. Since there was a promise of P50,0000, that executive order must be amended and the funds necessary to fund that new increase or the old increase must be in the budget to make it effective. In other words, that executive order is not enough to enable our bureaucracy to receive the salary increase. There must be an item in the 2017 General Appropriations Act,” the senator added.
Drilon said he was inclined to support the pay increases for policemen but reiterated that it must be provided in the budget.
Aside from the 4Ps and salary increases, he said he would also like to hear from Duterte what specific powers he wants Congress to grant him to alleviate the traffic condition in the country as well as his stand on various issues, like the proposed Anti-Political Dynasty Act. IDL/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.