Palace Sets Soldiers’ Incentive and Combat Duty Pay

Malacañang has established the combat duty pay and incentive pay for officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to clarify the various executive issuances related to compensation of men in uniform.

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Tuesday that Executive Order No. 38, which President Benigno Aquino III signed on April 28, set the amount of combat pay at P500 and the combat incentive pay at P150 per day and will be applied retroactively as of January 1, 2011.

“President Aquino approved EO 38 to put in effect the intention of his administration to improve the conveyed allotment of benefits and entitlements to the members of the AFP, especially those engaged in combat operations and recognizing the vital role they play in nation building,” Ochoa said.

The Executive Secretary also explained that the directive was issued to “consolidate, clarify and integrate all executive issuances” in order to “realize the objective of providing maximum benefits allowable for qualified members of the AFP.”

The President’s order consolidated all presidential directives relating to combat duty pay and incentive pay of AFP officers and enlisted personnel and superseded EO Nos. 1017, 15 and 658.

Under EO 38, officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP performing combat duties/activities are entitled to receive a combat duty pay of P500 per month. An additional combat incentive pay of P150 per day will be given to AFP members who are actually engaged in combat operation against members of various insurgent, terrorist and lawless groups.

The EO, however, stipulates that the total additional combat incentive pay shall not exceed P1, 500 per Operations Order (OPORD) or Fragmentary Order (FRAG-O).

The directive states that the combat operation must be for a specific mission duly covered by an OPORD or FRAG-O and that the personnel involved in combat must be in the published task organization of the combat operation.

“This combat incentive pay shall be supplementary to the P500 per month combat duty pay that AFP members assigned in the field units are entitled to receive,” Ochoa explained.

The initial funding requirement to implement EO 38 will be drawn from the Personal Services (PS) savings of the AFP during Fiscal Year 2010-2011. Succeeding budget for this presidential directive will be included in the General Appropriations Act.

EO 1017, which was issued on March 22, 1985, had set the combat duty pay of soldiers from P120 to P240 per month. Subsequently, EO 658, which was issued on September 6, 2007, granted an additional combat incentive pay of P150 per day to soldiers in recognition of their sacrifices being directly involved in actual combat operations.

On December 20, 2010, President Aquino issued EO 15, which provided for an additional combat allowance of P260 per month to increase it to P500 per month but removed the P150 per day incentive of the men in uniform in the field for combat operations.

With the issuance of EO 38, Ochoa said, soldiers taking part in actual combat operations can now receive their daily incentive pay on top of the monthly combat allowance.

“The intent of the administration is to improve the conditions of our soldiers, especially those in combat who risk their lives,” Ochoa said. “We are taking measures to extend to them adequate compensation that is also commensurate to the services they render to contribute to nation building.”