By WALLACE KIALA
PROTESTING soldiers at the Taurama Barracks in Port Moresby were told yesterday K13 million has been awarded for their pay rise, but no date has been given for its implementation.
They were told that K13 million was approved by the Government for the PNG Defence Force to implement its new salary structure for this year and also to pay outstanding payments only for January to December last year.
But it is still uncertain which payday this would actually come into effect.
PNGDF director for personnel Navy Cmdr Michael David was at the Taurama barracks yesterday to calm down the soldiers and explain the break-up of the funds.
He said the salary and conditions monitoring committee, (SCMC) led by Department of Personnel Management (DPM) had decided to award an 8% pay rise despite their earlier demands last month for a 100% increment.
The disgruntled soldiers had claimed then that the increment had been outstanding since 2007.
The implementation phase of the funds for officers from the rank of private to colonel, and of how the increments would be paid according to the new PNGDF salary structure, was discussed with soldiers at Taurama yesterday.
However, no schedule as to the actual date of commencement was given.
Cmdr David assured them that although some agreement had been reached, DPM has not given a clear confirmation as to what payday this would be effected.
Of the K13 million, K4 million would take care of outstanding salaries from last January to December while K8 million would be used to implement the new salary structure beginning in January this year.
As Cmdr David was leaving the Taurama barracks in his car, he was shouted at by the soldiers who were still not convinced by what he had informed them.
After Cmdr David left, Taurama barracks Cmdr Lt Col Emmanuel Todick reassured the officers that he would be pursuing the matter but called for understanding and patience from the soldiers while DPM and other agencies put an implementation schedule in place.