The Senate approved Wednesday on third and final reading two resolutions seeking to increase the base salary of military and uniformed personnel (MUP) starting January next year and calling for a review of the salary scheme of civilian personnel.
Senate Joint Resolution 11, introduced by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan II and Cynthia Villar, will increase the base pay of MUP.
Honasan, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security and sponsor of the bill, said that once the joint resolution would be enacted into law, the base salary of all military and police personnel, including jail guards, firemen, coast guards and those under the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority and the Philippine Public Safety College would double.
“The President has repeatedly made promises of higher salaries to the military and the police personnel. In support of this commitment, this joint resolution, if enacted into law, would double the MUPs base pay,” Honasan said in his sponsorship speech.
He cited a Department of Budget and Management report which showed that the compensation package would result in an average increase of 58.7 percent for all MUPs.
A joint resolution, like a bill, requires the approval of both houses and the signature of the President. It has the force and effect of a law once approved by the President.
“Let me emphasized that under existing laws, the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel or the MUP was last increased eight years ago,” Honasan said.
He said that the increase in salary for MUPs would motivate those in active service to perform better and be more committed to the service. At the same time, he said, increase in compensation would encourage civilians to join the service, thereby improving the recruitment process and reinvigorating public service.
“Adjustments to the compensation of our military and uniformed personnel to make it commensurate to their role in security, public safety and order is long overdue,” Honasan said.
“Unlike other vocations, uniformed personnel experience almost daily, risks of losing their lives, physical injury or psychological trauma. Our uniformed personnel including their families give up personal comfort so that ordinary Filipino citizens may live in peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate also adopted Resolution No.575, authored by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, to adjust the base pay of civilian personnel.
Drilon said the resolution sought to prevent the discrepancy and distortion in the salary structure of civilian personnel.
The resolution aims to bring the salary of civilian personnel closer to their military and uniformed personnel counterparts, whose base pay will be hiked starting 2018, as Drilon cautioned that the increase in the base pay of the MUP could distort the current pay structure in the government.
Drilon explained that as a result of the increase in the base pay of the uniformed personnel, the salary of entry-level personnel in the miltary would surpass the salaries currently received by some professionals in the bureaucracy including lawyers, nurses, teachers and doctors.
“The base pay for civilian personnel with salary grade 11 shall be raised to the same level of a private, Fire/Jail Officer I, Police Officer I, and Apprentice Seaman/Seaman Third Class provided under this Resolution,” Drilon said.
The resolution tasked the Department of Budget and Management to recompute and readjust the base pay of civilian personnel below and above salary grade 11 to bring the salary of civilian personnel closer to their military and uniformed personnel counterparts and eliminate overlaps in between salary grade allocations of government personnel to recognize differences in duties and responsibilities of the positions, Drilon said.
The new base pay rates for the civilian personnel shall take effect six months after the increase in the base pay of MUP takes effect, Drilon noted.