Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin M. Drilon urged President Rodrigo Duterte to grant a P3,000 additional allowance to about 1.3 million civilian employees – including public nurses and teachers – following the recent increase in the combat duty pay and combat incentive pay for soldiers and policemen.
“I urge the President to extend his generosity that he has showered our uniformed men and women to our equally deserving and dedicated civilian personnel,” Drilon said.
“It is only timely and proper that we provide relief to civilian employees, whose purchasing power has eroded through the years, by way of an additional allowance of P3,000 per month,” Drilon said.
Under the Executive Order No. 3, the combat duty pay of the officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP and uniformed personnel of the PNP is fixed at P3,000 per month from the previous rate of P500 per month for the enlisted personnel of the AFP and the P340 per month for the uniformed policemen.
The President also granted an increase in the combat incentive pay of the members of the AFP and the uniformed personnel of the PNP who figure directly in actual combat against members of various insurgent, terrorist and lawless elements, shall be entitled to additional Combat Incentive Pay of Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00) per day.
The budget for these increases amount to about P4.06 billion from September to December of this year and P12.2 billion for 2017.
The senator said that he agreed with the President that “there is an urgent need to increase the said benefits to improve the living conditions of the men in uniform.”
But Drilon said such is also true with the civilian employees “who are having a hard time to cope with the rising cost of living.”
The senator said the additional allowance shall be given on top of the mandatory allowance currently received by all government employees, referring to the Personnel economic Relief Allowance (PERA) that amounts to P2,500 per month.
From September to December, Drilon estimated the budgetary requirement at approximately P15.73 billion, saying that “the amount can be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF).”
Annually, it will only cost additional P47 billion in government coffers, which can be lodged under the MPBF or in the agencies’ respective budgets, Drilon added.
Drilon said that if the President grants this proposal, the Congress can include the amounts necessary for the grant of additional allowances to both the uniformed and civilian employees in the 2017 national budget.