By Ellson Quismorio
The House Appropriations Committee chaired by Davao City 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles has turned on the green light on the resolution that seeks to double the salaries of police and military personnel–a popular promise of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nograles, in an Appropriations panel hearing Tuesday, bared that House Joint Resolution No.18 or the “Joint Resolution authorizing the increase in base pay of military and uniformed personnel in the government, and for other purposes” will be submitted next week for plenary approval at the House of Representatives.
“The Lower Chamber will approve the resolution next week and it will be immediately transmitted to the Senate for its approval,” the Davao lawmaker said.
Nograles had guaranteed the passage of the resolution calling for the 100 percent salary increase for cops and soldiers last month after Malacañang itself endorsed a draft of the document to both Houses of Congress.
A Joint Resolution between the House and Senate has the same effect as a law, or an enacted bill.
The measure is expected to be approved before the two chambers take their Christmas break on December 14. This means the hike can take effect by January 2018.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas, both top allies of Duterte in the House, also took part in the hearing.
Under the measure, those who will have their base pay doubled are those holding the positions of Police Officer 1 (PO1) in the Philippine National Police, private in Department of National Defense as well as their equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard, and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the current PO1 monthly salary of P14,834 will become P29,668. The same measure also gives a P540 monthly hazard pay to military and uniformed personnel.
The national government will tap P63.4 billion from its coffers to fund the salary hike.
Duterte first bared his intention of doubling police and soldiers’ pay in August 2016, or less than two months after assuming the presidency.
Nograles earlier assured the availability of funds for the pay hike during the plenary debates on the proposed P3.767-trillion budget for 2018. He said the money will be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund.
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