MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The country’s soldiers will donate a portion of their May 2020 salaries to the government fund to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“In commiserating with our kababayan who were unfortunate to contract the disease; and as a manifestation of full support to government, each regular member of the AFP –from the highest ranking general to the lowest ranking personnel – will donate an amount based on a certain percentage deduction from their respective base pays for the month of May,” AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr said in a statement on Wednesday, April 8.
The donation will be done through automatic salary deduction.
How much will it be? The amount to be deducted from the soldiers’ salaries will depend on their rank. The AFP chief will give the biggest contribution amounting to P10,484. The lowest ranking soldier – a private, an airman, or an apprentice seaman – will donate P100.
They expect to raise around P16.9 million ($333,542)*. The AFP chief will hand over the fund to the Office of Civil Defense to procure medical supplies and equipment.
Why does this matter? The donation comes as the country struggles to “flatten the curve” – or reduce the transmission of the disease so the healthcare system is not crash. The containment has primarily been through strict lockdowns and curfews which have disenfranchised millions of Filipinos.
“Our heart goes out to our people. Seeing and feeling their hardships daily from the checkpoints, quarantine centers, and relief distribution sites we man, we commit to them our resolute efforts to win over this pandemic; we are one with them in keeping the faith that together we will hurdle this test of the Filipino’s indomitable spirit,” said Santos. – Rappler.com