THE House appropriations committee has urged senators to secure P20 billion in extra funding to cover retired military and police personnel in Salary Standardization Law-4, Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab said Tuesday.
Ungab, the chairman of the committee, said they would wait for the convening of the bicameral conference committee on SSL-4 to address the matter and to ask the senators to justify including the retired military and police officials in SSL-4.
Ungab said the P20 billion must be raised because it was not included in this year’s national budget.
“We will have to wait for the bicameral committee to tackle and resolve the issue regarding the AFP and PNP retirees,” he said.
“One of the things to consider would be its funding requirement of about P20 billion as the same is not included in the 2016 [budget], as well as the still-unpaid pension differentials which should be determined by DBM [Department of Budget and Management].”
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said it was up to the members of the bicameral conference committee to secure the P20-billion funding after the senators said they wanted the retired military and police officers included in SSL-4.
But he said the proposed inclusion could imperil the passage of SSL-4 because it had no allocation for such addition.
The House and the Senate failed to pass SSL-4 before Congress adjourned last December after the senators decided to reconsider the approval of their own version to include retired military and police personnel in the planned salary adjustment.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has said SSL-4 would cost taxpayers P226 billion over four years: P57.906 billion in 2016, P54.393 billion in 2017, P65.976 billion in 2018, and P47.544 billion in 2019.
The nurses who are receiving P24,887 a month under Salary Grade 15 will have their salaries raised to P26,192 this year and to P30,531 in 2019.
The Budget department said the minimum basic salary of civilian government personnel (Salary Grade 1 or administrative aide) will be raised to P11,068 from P9,000.
Army privates, apprentice seamen and police officers of the lowest rank will have their monthly salaries raised to P16,597 from P14,834.