Proposed pay hike for soldiers, cops hurdles Senate committee level
A joint resolution that would increase the base pay of military and the uniformed personnel (MUP) in government starting next year passed the committee level in the Senate on Wednesday.
A Police Officer 1 and those with equivalent rank could enjoy a 100 percent increase in their salary if Joint Resolution No. 9 is approved by both chambers of Congress.
“Tapos na, eendorse na sa floor (It’s done, it will be endorsed on the floor),” Senator Panfilo Lacson told reporters after the joint hearing of the three committees— national defense, public order and dangerous drugs, and finance. The measure, he said, was already approved in the House of Representatives.
But Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order, said he would appeal to Senator Gringo Honasan, chair of the committee on national defense, to also raise the pension of 200,000 retirees.
“I’m appealing to Senator Honasan kung pwedeng i-adopt lang yung kasama yung mga pensioners and bahala na kung ma-adopt sa bicam at kung ma-adopt sa bicam, bahala na kung i-veto ni President. At least we tried,” he added.
(I’m appealing to Senator Honasan if it’s possible to adopt as well the inclusion of [the increase in the pension] of pensioners and if ever it is adopted in the bicam, it’s up to the President if he wants to veto it. At least we tried.)
“Definite na yung sa base pay—military, police—all the uniformed personnel. Definite na yun. No-brainer na ‘yun. Ang issue na lang na pinag uusapan, makikinabang din ba yung mga retired dun sa increase. Sa akin ang position ko is they should also reap the benefits of this law as passed,” he added.
(The base pay of military, police and all the uniformed personnel is already definite. The remaining issue to be discussed is if the retired [MUPs] are included in the increase. For me personally my position is that they should also reap the benefits of this law.)
The approved measure in the committee will be endorsed to the plenary for discussion. Once approved in the Senate, the measure will be tackled at the bicameral conference committee and a final report would be transmitted back to the two chambers for ratification.
Once ratified, the measure will be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
Lacson said the base pay hike for the MUP was estimated to cost the government around P60 billion to P80 billion while pension for retirees would cost P38 billion.
The fund, he said, could be sourced from the General Appropriations Act and the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund.
Lacson noted that P38 billion incremental pension for retirees was only a little over 1 percent of the proposed P3.7 trillion national budget next year. /jpv
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