Lawmakers yesterday rallied behind the proposal seeking to increase the salary of Philippine National Police uniformed personnel to a minimum of P50,000 monthly.
Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, backed Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano’s proposed salary hike for policemen, but Quimbo said the incoming Duterte administration should also consider increasing the salary of teachers.
“I am supportive of his proposal, but we have to also to increase the salary of teachers,” he said in an interview.
Quimbo branded Cayetano’s proposal “feasible” and “long overdue.”
“There’s a lot of surplus as far as government savings is concerned. Kaya yan (It can be done). It’s long overdue,” Quimbo said.
Cayetano said if Congress agrees, the increase in salaries would be for distribution before Christmas this year.
The salary increase has a required funding of about P70 billion, with P50 billion going to the salary hike and the remaining P20 billion would be earmarked as retirement fund for the first year of the Duterte administration.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas, a Liberal Party stalwart who joined Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, and Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, spokesperson of the House partylist bloc, were also in favor of Cayetano’s proposal, which is now being studied by the incoming administration.
“I have no objections but that will definitely result to additional demand for similar increases to other government employees like teachers, firemen, health workers, among others, of which I also have no objections,” Trenas said.
Albano said the incoming government should also consider the welfare of the military personnel by also increasing their salaries. “The soldiers should also be given salary increases,” he said.
Batocabe said, “I am fully supportive of the measure since you can not effectively fight criminals on an empty stomach. We have to ensure that our law enforcement officials and their families are well taken care of to boost their morale and efficiency in fighting crime.”
“The increase of salaries and benefits should have a corresponding moral responsibility of ensuring zero corruption in the police force, including weeding their ranks of the bad eggs,” he stressed.
Cayetano said he has submitted his proposal to President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte. He also sent a copy of the proposal to new Philippine National Police chief Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa. (CHARISSA M. LUCI)