CEBU CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte late Friday night vowed to increase the salaries of soldiers before the year ends.
The President arrived in Cebu past 7 p.m. Friday and proceeded immediately to a two-hour command conference with top Visayas police and military officials at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (AFP-CentCom) headquarters in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
He later started speaking by 9:50 p.m. to some 200 soldiers for 45 minutes.
The soldiers, who had been waiting in Bondad Hall since 3 p.m., cheered when President Duterte told them of his plans to implement reforms in the AFP, including doubling their salaries by December this year.
He told soldiers assigned at the AFP Centcom to “check their paychecks” this month to see if the increases in the salaries have already taken effect.
Last month, Duterte vowed to implement an immediate increase in the salaries of soldiers provided that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is able to provide funds.
Duterte also promised to give their children free education.
“Do not be afraid of tomorrow. By next year, libre na edukasyon from kinder to high school,” the President said.
He also vowed to provide state-of-the-art medical equipment for the AFP’s main hospital in Quezon City, including a new building.
Duterte also vowed to provide Camp Lapu-Lapu’s medical facility with new equipment, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and a hyperbaric or decompression chamber, as a way to provide better medical services for enlisted personnel.
“Gusto ko sa panahon ko, wala kayong masasabi na pinabayaan ko kayo (In my term, I would like you to know that you will not be neglected),” Duterte said.
Before arriving in Cebu, President Duterte visited Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz to check on soldiers there. PNA/northboundasia.com