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House okays pay increase for soldiers, cops



The House of Representives last Wednesday passed on 2nd reading House Joint Resolution No. 18 which will modify the existing Base Pay of around 381,381 military and uniformed personnel nationwide, House appropriations committee Chairman Karlo Nograles announced yesterday.
The measure specifically raises the monthly Base Pay of a Police Officer 1 (PO1) in the Philippine National Police (PNP) or a Private in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 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 from P14,834 to P29,668, representing a 100 percent increase in the Base Pay effective January 1, 2018.
For the other ranks, the increase in Base Pay will be calibrated resulting in an average increase of 58.70 percent for all ranks.
“This is in recognition of the critical role of the military and police in maintaining national security and peace and order as they exercise their duty to ensure the safety of our citizens being exposed to various high peril environments and life-threatening risks in the discharge of their functions,” Nograles explained.
As to the indexation of the pension of retired military and uniformed personnel with the Base Pay of those in the active service, Nograles explained while the Joint Resolution suspends the indexation with respect to the Base Pay increase, the suspension of indexation will be automatically lifted on January 1, 2019.
“The notable amendment we did on the floor is that the suspension of the pension indexation will now only be up to January 1, 2019 or until a new pension reform law is passed, whichever comes earlier,” Nograles said.
“This temporary suspension, for a period of about one year, of the application of pension indexation of retired military and uniformed personnel is only in view of its huge financial implication,” Nograles explained.
The national government will tap P64.24 billion from its coffers to fund the salary hike which President Duterte first promised in August 2018.
At the same time, Nograles said Congress is setting aside additional funds from the proposed P3.767-trillion General Appropriations Bill for 2018 for the purchase of body-worn cameras for police officers in conducting anti-crime operations, including anti-drug raids and sting operations.
In an interview over ANC’s Headstart Wednesday, Nograles said President Duterte, through the Department of Interior and Local Government has requested additional funding for the “body cams” in its effort to ensure that standard operating procedures and the rules of engagement are observed at all times during anti-crime operations.
“This only shows that President Duterte and his government do not sanction or condone so-called extra-judicial killings as claimed by his critics. This request for funding to purchase these cameras will definitely be included in the Budget for 2018,” Nograles said.
The Davao congressman bared the government’s planned use of body cams a day after President Duterte allowed the PNP to rejoin the anti-illegal drug campaign alongside the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“Right now there’s a P100- million budget for the purchase of body cams and we’re probably looking at augmenting it some more because we’re getting feedback from Malacanang that we need more body cams,” Nograles said.
There is a handful of pending bills in the 17th Congress batting for law enforcement agents’ use of such apparatus during their operations.
“Ang pinag-uusapan na lang natin na additional dito is I think the President wants more body cams for the PNP. When they go into their anti-drug campaign, may mga panawagan na kailangan magkaroon ng body cam ang mga agents natin. If you don’t wear it, you will be questioned why,” Nograles said.
It should be noted that cops will also benefit from wearing body cams, particularly in evidence gathering, documentation and post-operation assessment.
Nograles also confirmed the P900 million originally programmed for the PNP’s Oplan Double Barrel has been transferred to the National Housing Authority in order to provide housing for the police and the military.
However, he was quick to clarify the PNP will still be receiving an augmentation in their budget to fund peace and order operations nationwide.
“What I know is right now we are discussing the augmentation to the PNP not necessarily for the drug campaign but to augment the operations of the different police stations all over the country,” he explained.
Nograles said the House is also supporting the Senate’s decision to add P1.2 billion to PDEA’s budget for next year.
“Kasi ang PDEA, although they have offices all over the region, they are not as many in terms of personnel compared to the PNP,” he said.

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