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DBM asks Congress for pay hike authority

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BUDGET Secretary Benjamin Diokno asked Congress to adopt a joint resolution that will allow the Department of Budget and Management to increase the salary of government employees beginning this year.

During the briefing of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee at the House of Representatives, Diokno said since the fourth Salary Standardization Law was not passed during the 16th Congress, the House ought to pass an interim measure.

Such a measure will allow the Duterte administration to implement beginning this week the salary adjustment to the country’s police and military personnel as factored in under the proposed P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017.

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Diokno made the disclosure as the House committee on appropriations, chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, began its deliberations on next year’s national budget.

BUDGET DEFENSE. The government economic managers – from left, National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez – discuss and defend the 2017 Natrional Budget of P3.35 trillion during the budget hearing conducted by the House Committee on Appropriation. Manny Palmero

During his budget presentation before lawmakers, Diokno said that a total of P39.5 billion has been set aside for the military and uniformed armed personnel (MUP), including the police by next year.

The 2017 national budget amounts to P3.35 trillion, or 11 percent higher than this year’s P3.002 trillion.

Diokno said the budget for the increase in the salary of other state workers was “built-in” in the appropriation of their respective departments or agencies.

“The second tranche of salary increase is already in the 2017 budget,” Diokno told the panel.

Diokno earlier said that the take-home pay of police and military personnel will be doubled by January 2018.

He said the pay hike will be released in three tranches so that the government could ensure there is enough money for the purpose. The pay hike will be released this year, 2017 and 2018, Nograles said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to double the salary of the policemen and soldiers, as part of the administration’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

Diokno said the Budget department proposed salary adjustment for the year 2017 and 2018.

Under the 2017 General Appropriations Bill, the PNP proposed a total of P110.4-billion budget or higher by 24.6 percent than this year budget while the AFP proposed P130.6 billion.

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