Trillanes seeks to increase combat pay for soldiers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed a bill seeking to increase the combat pay of deployed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), his office said Sunday, July 29.

Through Senate Bill 1882 filed on Tuesday, July 24, former Navy man Trillanes called on the government to hike the danger pay from the fixed P3,000 a month to an adjustable 25% of a personnel's base pay a month.

What is combat pay? The combat pay is mandated compensation for soldiers and cops engaged in combat duties and operations.

Executive Order 201 of then president Benigno Aquino III said, "Officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP performing combat duties/activities and uniformed personnel of the PNP engaged in actual police operations...are entitled to receive Combat Duty Pay."

Big increase: If passed into law, Trillanes' bill will lead to at least the doubling of combat pay of uniformed personnel, as the salary of uniformed personnel under the Department of National Defense (DND) recently spiked. 

Since January this year, AFP privates — the newbies in the force – have received P29,668 in base pay, or double of what they used to earn. Other officers got at least a 20% increase in their incomes.

Given the new spiked salaries, if Trillanes' bill turns to law, then new AFP personnel assigned to battle areas would receive P7,417.

Why just the AFP? For Trillanes, men and women of the AFP face greater risks than their comrades from the Philippine National Police or the Philippine Coast Guard.

"The sad reality is that members of the armed forces bear the greatest degree of risk among civil servants, particularly when they go about fulfilling their duties of protecting the State and the people," Trillanes said in his bill's explanatory note.

Where will the money come from? Trillanes pitched the Department of National Defense's savings to fund the pay increase. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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