(21 OCTOBER 2013)
INCREASING THE QUARTERS ALLOWANCE OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen:
Your Committee on National Defense and Security, together with the Committee on Finance, has the honor to sponsor Senate Bill No. 480, entitled “An Act increasing the Quarters Allowance of officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” under Committee Report No. 3, with this representation and Senator Sonny Angara as authors.
Mr. President, consistent with our aim to promote the welfare of the members of AFP and boost their morale, this bill seeks to increase their Quarters Allowance. Although our Constitution requires professionalism from all members of the AFP and mandates the provision of adequate remuneration and benefits to its members, the current rate of their Quarters Allowance has become obsolete and inadequate to provide them decent quarters in light of the present rate of house rental. Enlisted personnel of the AFP are currently receiving Quarter’s Allowance that ranges P400 – P525 (Four hundred pesos to Five hundred twenty five pesos), depending on the rank. On the other hand, the quarters allowance of officers ranges P600 in the case of 2nd Lieutenant to P1,500 in case of a General.
Under this proposed measure, Mr. President, the Quarters Allowance of all members of the AFP will be substantially increased to a reasonable level, befitting their rank and commensurate to their position. Enlisted personnel will be receiving P5,000, while officers from 2nd Lieutenant to Colonel will receive P10,000 and while Generals will receive P15,000.
Upon the advise and with guidance of the representatives of the DBM and the Department of Finance during the hearing and technical working group (TWG) meetings for the measure, we have identified the following sources of funds in support of this measure:
a. Fifty percent (50%) of the net government share in the proceeds of Service Contract No. 38 authorized under Sec. 8 of Presidential Decree 910;
b. Twenty percent (20%) of the annual share of the AFP Modernization Program on the income derived from the leases, joint ventures and other similar transactions on properties in metro manila entered into by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as mandated under Executive Order 309;
c. Annual saving of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and
d. the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Funds (MPBS).
Mr. President, we demand so much from the members of the AFP. During times of calamity and crisis, we expect them to be at the front lines in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.
In case of external threats, we expect them to defend our country and our people despite of their rudimentary, inadequate and antiquated equipment.
Even in the case of internal security threats, we require them to be at the forefront and to preserve the peace, together with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). We saw this in the case of the recent crisis in Zamboanga City, where a number of young and promising officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP laid down their lives and scores of soldiers and PNP personnel were wounded in action, all in defense of our country and our people.
It is only fair and reasonable that we should look after their welfare and wellbeing in exchange for the great sacrifices we require of them.
This is one of the measures that we hope to pass as a way of recognizing the sacrifices of the military personnel for this country, and also as a way of instituting reforms. With decent pay and adequate benefits, we believe that we will be able to further motivate the officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP to continue their faithful, loyal and dedicated service to the country.
In this light, I urge our colleagues to support the immediate passage of this measure.
Thank you, Mr. President.