ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Cops and soldiers in the Philippines were assured by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte that he will fulfill his campaign promise to double their salaries – and would do so within the year!
This good news comes in the heels of the announcement made by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno last week that there will be no salary hike because the government’s coffers could not handle the salary increase anytime soon, especially because such a huge increase has not been included in the 2017 budget as well.
According to CNN Philippines, in his speech before the men in uniform in Zamboanga City, Duterte admitted that the Budget Secretary had earlier said that the pay hike is not included in the budget for 2017; however, the president promised that is doing his best to ensure that such would take effect within the year.
“This will take effect this year. Dahan-dahan lang tayo kasi wala masyadong pera (Let’s do things slowly because we don’t have enough funds),” Duterte said. “Remember that I entered the presidency midstream so I have to just make a go of what’s available. But uunahin ko kayo. (But you will be the priority.)”
Aside from cops and soldiers, Duterte also promised that employees of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will also receive a pay hike; though he did not elaborate whether these agencies will receive the same rate of increase as cops and soldiers.
Afterwards, the president visited the wounded soldiers confined in Camp Navarro General Hospital at the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) headquarters.
Aside from gamely chatting and taking photos with the soldiers, the president also handed them a brown envelope which appears to contain financial assistance.
Can President Duterte Fulfill His Campaign Promises?
During the campaign period, Duterte had made a lot of promises to his future constituents, including doubling the salary of cops and soldiers – and the whole country is now waiting to see if he will be able to fulfill everything. To date, a number of his campaign promises appear to be taken care of, including cutting red tape in government agencies as well as starting an intensified crackdown against drug personalities.