Militray personnel to donate portion of salaries to Covid-19 efforts

Photo courtesy of Philstar

Manila, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) targets to gather up to P17 million from the salaries of every AFP enlisted member in the payroll to help the battle against COVID19 Pandemic.

Earnings from the donations of the 140,000 solid AFP personnel would go to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), in aid in the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, per AFP in a statement on Tuesday (April 7).

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte, in a televised address on Monday night, said the government would not have sufficient funds to completely deal with the disease's massive impact.

"In commiserating with our kababayans who were unfortunate to contract the disease; and as a manifestation of full support to government, each regular member of the AFP – from the highest-ranking general to the lowest-ranking personnel – will donate an amount based from a certain percentage deduction from their respective base pays for the month of May,” AFP spokesperson, 
Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement, Tuesday afternoon.

“Since their salaries for the month of April are already out for payment, the donation – deductible from their base pays for the month of May – will be available by the third week of April," he added.

Arevalo explained, the base pay deduction would be equitable according to their rank, starting from AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. contributing PHP10,484 down to the lowest ranking soldier with the rank of private, airman, or an apprentice seaman donating PHP100.

Also, the Philippine Military Academy cadets, probationary officers and candidate soldiers will also contribute a part of their salaries.

“With this amount drawn from our individual base pays for a month, we hope to help augment scarce government resources,” he said.

"Through this humble gesture of AFP solidarity and unwavering support to the government it is sworn to protect and defend, we aim to share the burden in the nation’s fight against this contagion," Santos added.

Gen. Santos, meanwhile, pledged full support for President Duterte's decision to extend the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon until April 30.

"We shall carry out our tasks with the same fervor and undiminished dedication we had since Day 1. We helped prevent the spread of the virus; we are determined to save more lives whether in the checkpoints, in the quarantine areas, or in the communities," Santos added.

He also signified AFP’s commitment to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the military is one with the Filipino people in hurdling this crisis.

"Our heart goes out to our people. Seeing and feeling their hardships daily from the checkpoints, quarantine centers, and relief distribution sites we man, we commit to them our resolute efforts to win over this pandemic. We are one with them in keeping the faith that together we will hurdle this test of the Filipino’s indomitable spirit," he said.

Santos said he is confident that the nation and the people will "heal as one". 

Just as what militaries in the world do in these trying time, the AFP is playing a frontline role in the Philippine government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFP personnel are being deployed to assist in the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine. At the same time, Military assets—aircraft, ships, trucks—are being used to transport supplies and people and their manpower are being tapped to help build facilities for COVID19 patients.

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