By: Elena Grace Flores
President Rodrigo Duterte may have realized already the reality of what Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s statement during the Presidential campaign – that “all promises will cost money and where would the government get that?” Duterte vowed to double the salaries of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel to stop them from being corrupt immediately during his first year of office.
So, it was a dismay hearing from Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the public commitment to the government forces is not included in the P3.35-trillion proposed budget for 2017. Perhaps the president already know now that he cannot just move any budget from one department to another as it will be against constitutional law. However, former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo already filed the bill to make such salary increase a law but it needs to be heared, passed and signed to properly implement it – thereby estimated completion time should be in the year 2018.
This is the reason why fund raisers are needed in the government. During the time of Congresswoman Arroyo, she ventured into private-public joint ventures that led into corruption allegations that went nowhere and former President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s strong drive to raise money from taxes made BIR Commissioner Kim Henares a tyrant public official. It will be a tough choice to make but that’s what a President is for.