Despite Duterte’s Authorization, No Allocation for Combat Allowance Increase in 2017 Budget

Starting last September 1, 2016, qualified cops and soldiers were set to receive an increase in their combat pay allowance from Php500 to P3,000 as stipulated by Executive Order No. 3, s. 2016. Deputy Speaker and former House appropriations committee chairman Rolando Andaya Jr. revealed, however, that the 2017 national budget has no allocation for this combat allowance increase.

According to Andaya, the House had already received the 2017 budget from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) when Pres. Rodrigo Duterte authorized the increase; thus, the item was not included. To date, the House had already approved the 2017 budget on its third and final reading.

Photo credit: PhilStar
Photo credit: PhilStar

Still, this does not mean that the budget is final, of course. When the Congress sessions resume next week, the chamber will transmit the budget to the Senate.

Afterwards, the Senate and the Congress will have a bicameral conference to tackle the final revisions on the budget before it is duly approved. At this point, the House can propose the inclusion of the required P12-billion budget for the increased combat incentive.

Until then, the fate of the combat pay allowance of the country’s qualified uniformed personnel is uncertain.

There’s good news, though. While the allocation for the combat pay allowance remains uncertain, the country’s cops and soldiers will definitely receive an increase in 2017 — and this has been placed in the 2017 national budget.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno confirmed that the government-wide pay adjustment program has been laid out in the 2017 budget; though he did not confirm whether the hike will already include Duterte’s promise to double the salaries of cops and soldiers.