Troops to receive pay hike in 2018: Diokno

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2017 02:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2017 03:19 PM

MANILA - Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday said the government is all set to implement the increase in the base pay of the military and other uniformed personnel come January 1, 2018.

Government is expected to spend P60 billion for the raise, he said.

"This is a very costly promise. We are willing to invest in MUP (military and uniformed personnel) and of course the rehabilitation of Marawi city," the budget chief told reporters.

The base pay of personnel at the "police officer 1" level or "private" officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority will be doubled by the new year, he said.

"This may be not an immediate response because we really cannot afford to implement last year," he said.

The congressional authorization was signed by leaders of both houses of Congress on Tuesday, Diokno said, but it still lacked President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.

"This is his pet project... Gusto sana namin isali kahapon kaya lang it's not appropriate because yesterday, we had both TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) [law] and budget signed," he said, referring to the tax reform bill and the 2018 national budget.