Senator Loren Legarda, senatorial candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), today said that she will continue to pursue the rights of Filipino soldiers and will work on the improvement of their benefits.
Legarda, a reserve officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said that while the government is on the path of pursuing a genuine peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the needs of Filipino soldiers should also be given due importance.
“Our soldiers are the frontliners in defending our country. They are the protector of the people, tasked to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory. They are even at the frontline in rescue operations during disasters. However, they are among the lowest paid public servants,” she said.
The Senator noted that while soldiers’ salary follows the basic salary standardization scheme, the dangerous circumstances under which they sometimes perform their duties in the combat zone entitles them to additional remuneration in the form of combat pay, which at present is only at PhP240 per month.
“I have filed a bill that seeks to increase the Combat Duty Pay of all enlisted personnel of the AFP to 25% of their base pay. If this does not get approved in this Congress, I will file it again should I be given another term as a senator. I have also learned that our soldiers’ subsistence allowance is at PhP90 per day only. I will also review that and all the other benefits that ought to be given to them,” Legarda said.
“With the enormity of the tasks of our soldiers, there arises a need to uphold professionalism in the AFP and ensure the adequate remuneration of its members,” Legarda concluded.***