Andanar: DBM studying pay hike for soldiers, policemen

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Duterte says an increase in salary of uniformed men is a priority.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In a radio interview Sunday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the Budget Department is already studying where to get funds for the pay hike of soldiers and policemen.

"Kausap ko na po si DBM (Department of Budget) Secretary Ben Diokno at ito po ay pinag-aaralan na ng DBM," Andanar said. [I talked to DBM Secretary Ben Diokno and it is already being studied by the DBM.]

President Rodrigo Duterte told policemen and soldiers Thursday that his promise to double their salary would happen within the year.

Duterte, who was in Zamboanga City, told the men in uniform that his Budget Secretary had earlier said the pay hike was not included in the proposed 2017 budget.

The President also said that employees of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) would be given a pay hike as well.

"This will take effect this year. Dahan-dahan lang tayo kasi wala masyadong pera," Duterte said. "Remember that I entered the presidency midstream so I have to just make a go of what's available. But uunahin ko kayo."

[Translation: "Let's do things slowly because we don't have enough funds... But you will be the priority."]

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The President later visited wounded soldiers at Camp Navarro General Hospital at the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) headquarters.

He chatted with them for several minutes, joking and taking pictures with them. The President also handed each of them a brown envelope, which could contain financial assistance.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.