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P14B for hiring of more lawmen

By: PNA and Ellson Quismorio

At least P14 billion has been allocated in the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018 to fund the hiring of additional soldiers, policemen, firefighters, and jail guards as requested by President Duterte, a House leader said yesterday.

In a statement, House Committee on Appropriations chairperson Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said that the P14-billion allocation will also finance the uniforms, firearms, rifles, ammunition, gears, training, and other expenses of the new recruits.

“It is safe to say that out of the computed requirement, R14 billion is already specifically provided in the proposed 2018 budget,” Nograles said, noting that the fund is distributed among the various uniformed services.

If approved without any amendment, Nograles said that this would allow the Philippine National Police to hire 10,000 additional policemen, 2,000 additional personnel for the Bureau of Fire Protection, and 1,000 jail guards for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

“For salaries alone, the total basic pay for the creation of 10,000 police officer PO1 positions will entail around R1.78 billion. The creation of 20,000 soldiers may cost a total basic pay amounting to around P3.56 billion,” Nograles said.

“As to the additional soldiers, we already created in 2017 for the Philippine Army 8,892 positions, which we are currently filling up,” he added.

The Davao City lawmaker said the hiring of new uniformed personnel is necessary with the existing security challenges amid threats of terrorism and other forms of lawlessness.

“The Marawi crisis, the ongoing war against drugs, and other forms of criminality that threaten the peace and security of the people are compelling reasons for us to prioritize the augmentation of our military and law enforcement personnel and the modernization of their weapons and equipment,” he said.