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Gov't needs P20 billion to fund 100% pay hike for cops and soldiers in 2018

To fulfill President Rodrigo Duterte's promise of doubling the salaries of soldiers and policemen, the government needs an additional P20 billion to cover the cost of the pay increase, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

"The doubling of the salary of soldiers and policemen will require additional P20 billion," Diokno told reporters in a briefing in Manila.

While the government is implementing salary increases for the uniformed services as part of the salary standardization scheme, the administration has to fulfill the President's promise of increasing it by 100 percent, the Cabinet official said.

"Sabi ni Presidente—as promised—it has to be doubled, so it's 100 percent. So, when we calculate it, we need an additional P20 billion," Diokno said.

In August last year, Duterte promised to double the salaries of soldiers and policemen.
"We talked with both the appropriations committees of House and Senate, and we have so far identified already where we will get the additional funds," Diokno said.

The Budget chief did not disclose exactly where and how the money will be sourced, while lawmakers are still deliberating on the proposed 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Asked if the additional funds will result in realigning appropriations of some agencies, Diokno said, "There will be some changes in the budget."

"We cannot talk about realignment because we are currently undergoing the budget authorization phase. So hindi pa naman naka-approve ang GAA. So it's a misnomer to talk about realignment," he added.

The 100 percent pay hike of uniformed personnel will be effective on January 1, 2018, the Budget chief said. — VDS, GMA News