Updated 16:51 PM PHT Tue, January 3, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Soldiers, policemen, and government officials will receive higher salaries this year, the Budget Department announced Tuesday.
The pay hike has been included in the 2017 national budget and should be effective January 1, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
Diokno said this year's salary increase is the second in a four-tranche salary adjustment system that the Duterte government adopted from the previous administration.
"As you know we gave salary increase last year. There will be another round of salary increase this year both for civilian and military and policemen," Diokno said.
Former President Benigno Aquino III on February last year signed an executive order raising the salary of government employees every January for four years. This is after Congress failed to pass the Salary Standardization Law (SSL4).
"There's maybe a legal defect because it did not go through Congress … but [in] 2017 there's already a budget allocation for a salary increase," Diokno said.
No double pay hike yet
President Rodrigo Duterte failed to fulfill his promise to double cops' and soldiers' salaries within 2016.
Diokno said the implementation of a salary hike would need the approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
But the men in uniform should not worry, because "going by the behavior of Congress, they won't object to a salary increase," Diokno said.
The Budget Secretary added he already submitted to the Office of the President a proposal seeking the salary adjustment. He said he is confident they will be able to deliver that promise next year.
"We would be able comply with the desire of the President to double their take home pay by January of 2018," Diokno said.
He added this could even happen sooner if the proposed tax reform plan is passed, reducing the tax rate from 32 percent to 25 percent, resulting in higher net income for taxpayers.
PNP still grateful
The Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed gratitude for the incremental hike.
"Malaking tulong na mapalaki ang take home pay ng ating mga pulis (The bigger take-home pay will be a big help for our police). But at the end of the day, we are here as members of the PNP to provide service," PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said.
CNN Philippines Correspondents Gerg Cahiles and AC Nicholls contributed to this report.