Soldiers’ combat pay to be doubled next month

MANILA, Philippines – soldiers that are deployed in the battlefield will have a hundred percent increase in their combat pay starting next year as the Armed Forces (AFP) gears-up for a new campaign plan against enemies of the state.

The 100 percent increase in soldier’s combat pay was announced on Tuesday by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III pay during the AFP’s 75th anniversary celebration in Camp Aguinaldo.

The increase will take effect on January 1, 2011, the same day the military launches its new campaign plan called “Oplan Bayanihan” that aims to lickout the insurgency problem before the end of Aquino administration in 2016.

From P240 pesos a month, soldiers’s combat pay will increase to P500 a month, President Aquino said in his speech in Camp Aguinaldo followed by appluases from an audience composed of ranking defense, military and police officials.

“Sa panahon ng tension, sasalubong din po sa kanila ang karagdagdagang combat allowance na P260… ipinatong ito sa kasalukuyang P240 combat pay ng ating mga sundalo,” Aquino said.

The president added. “P500 na po ang matatanggap na kabuuang sustento ng ating mga magigiting na sundalo na nagtataya ng kanilang buhay sa pagsabak sa mga combat operations.”

AFP spokesman and concurent Civil Relation Service Chief, Brig. General Jose Mabanta said that the P260 increase in soldiers’ combat pay will be a big boost on the morale and welfare of soldiers that are deployed in the frontlines.

“The biggest impact for this are actually those who are in the field, in the frontline, even if this is only a mere P260… that’s a big amount, if you will spend it in the countryside.. it’s substantial,” Mabanta said.

But, the AFP spokesman quickly explained that not all members of the 130, 000 strong AFP will get an increase in their benefits.

“We will be receiving an additional P260 a month as combat pay, but of course not everyone will be getting that… only those who are assigned in the field, its about 60 to 65 percent,” Mabanta said. Anthony Vargas

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