President Rodrigo Duterte’s visits in military camps usually include him assuring the soldiers that they will get their salaries doubled by December, but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has been telling the soldiers not to be too optimistic about the pay hike.
“Inannounce ko na ‘yan sa tropa na do not be too optimistic kasi depende naman ‘yan,” Lorenzana said in an ambush interview.
“Although the promise of the President is good, but sometimes the realities of the purse, parang ikaw tatay ka, nangako ka pero wala palang pera, ‘Anak, puwede maghintay-hintay ka lang nang sandali?” he added.
Duterte’s first promise was to start the increase in soldiers’ salaries by August and for these salaries to be doubled come December. However, he failed to deliver on his promise for August and said that he has been egging Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to ensure that the troops will get two times their usual salary by December.
Diokno previously told the Senate that there was no budget for Duterte’s vowed increase in August, but said that P39.5 billion has been set aside for the promised increase in the salaries of the soldiers and police this 2017.
Lorenzana said that in the end, it is up to Diokno to decide whether the country has enough funds to pay for the salary increases of the military.
“It depends on Secretary Diokno because if there is no money, we will wait for next year,” the defense chief said.
He also said that he reminded the troops to prepare themselves should something happen that will stop Duterte from keeping true to his promise.
However, he assured that Duterte will deliver on this promise, if not this year, it could finally come true next year.