Pay raises for policemen, soldiers? Maybe next year | Inquirer News
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‘EASIER SAID THAN DONE’

Pay raises for policemen, soldiers? Maybe next year

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 01:09 AM January 04, 2017

Uniformed personnel would have to wait until 2018 before President Duterte’s promise to double their take-home pay could be realized, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno disclosed on Tuesday.

Mr. Duterte overwhelmingly won the votes of policemen and soldiers after he promised to double their basic salaries during the campaign.

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In all his visits to police and military camps since he took office in July, the President reiterated his vow, telling personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police that they would start receiving higher pay by December 2016.

But the Commander in Chief failed to keep his word—just as he came short in fulfilling his promise to rid the country of criminality and illegal drugs within the first six months of his presidency.

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Speaking at a news briefing in Malacañang, Diokno said increasing the basic pay of soldiers and police personnel by 100 percent was easier said than done as it would affect the monthly pension of retired PNP and AFP officials.

He said the proposed tax reforms should be implemented to augment the annual budget for the state security forces.

“The way I see it, as far as the military is concerned, we would be able to comply with the desire of the President to double their take-home pay by January of 2018,” Diokno said.

“(It could come) sooner if we pass the tax reform because tax reform would mean reducing the personal income tax rate from a maximum of 32 percent to 25 percent,” he explained.

For the time being, he said soldiers, policemen and all other government workers would receive the second installment of the salary hike, based on an executive order signed by then President Benigno Aquino III in February last year.

In 2016, there were 150,950 PNP personnel and 124,717 members of the AFP, data from the Department of Budget and Management showed.

While Aquino’s order could have “a legal defect” since it was not approved by Congress, Diokno said the Duterte administration would honor it as the government had already allocated funds for it this year.

He said a legislation was needed to address the expected dramatic increase in monthly pension of retired uniformed personnel as a necessary result of the pay hike. —WITH INQUIRER RESEARCH

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TAGS: Benjamin Diokno, pay hike, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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