Wednesday, November 29, 2017

House panel okays measure increasing base pay of military and uniformed personnel

From the Business Mirror (Nov 28): House panel okays measure increasing base pay of military and uniformed personnel

Photograb of Philippine military from YouTube
The House Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday approved a measure authorizing the increase in base pay of military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo C. Fariñas Sr. of Ilocos Norte and House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Karlo Alexei B. Nograles of Davao City said there is a need to adjust the compensation package of MUP to make it more commensurate with their critical role in maintaining national security and peace and order, taking into consideration their exposure to high-risk environments in the performance of their duties.

Nograles said the resolution will be submitted to the plenary for another round of deliberations.

“The lower chamber will approve the resolution next week and it will be immediately
transmitted to the Senate for its approval,” Nograles said.

The measure is expected to be approved before Congress goes on recess on December 13.

If approved by both houses of Congress, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the resolution will double the base pay of a police officer (PO) 1 in the Philippine National Police, a private in the Department of National Defense and equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

The DBM said a PO1 will enjoy a 100-percent increase in monthly base pay from the current P14,834 to P29,668.

According to DBM estimates, the increase in the base pay of soldiers, police, firefighters and jail guards will entail an additional cost of P63.4 billion for the government.

Under the resolution, the modified base-pay schedule for MUP shall be implemented in two tranches starting 2018 and 2019.

“Pending review of the current MUP pension system by the legislative and executive branches of government, which is aimed toward ensuring a sustainable and equitable pension system, the indexation of the pension of retired MUP with base pay of those in the active service shall be suspended with respect to the base-pay increase authorized in the joint resolution,” the measure said.

It added the indexation of such pension shall remain to be based on the rates of the base-pay schedule provided under the law.

Also, the resolution said the hazard pay of all military and uniformed personnel shall be fixed at P540 per month.

It said the amounts necessary to implement the increase in base pay in fiscal year 2018 shall be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and other available funds, while the funding requirements for the succeeding years shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Rey Guerrero said the passage of the resolution “is an indication of how the people appreciate the efforts of the AFP in terms of being able to fulfill its mandate.”

“[It] will definitely go a long way in boosting, not only the morale of our troops, but also in making sure that they have decent living,” he added.

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