President announces one- month tax free bonus for Joint Services
Georgetown, GINA, December 20, 2013
As is customary, all members of the Joint Services, in addition to receiving their five percent increase, will also benefit from a one-month tax-free Christmas bonus.
The announcement was made by Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, President Donald Ramotar today at Camp Ayanganna, when he and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds joined members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) for their annual Christmas luncheon.
.President Donald Ramotar addresses Officers of the Guyana Defence Force at their Christmas luncheon at Camp Ayanganna
The announcement was received with loud cheers, more so, when the President told them that he had advised the Ministry of Finance to make the payment before Christmas Day.
President Ramotar said that he was hopeful that the bonus will contribute to the officers enjoying the holidays, and that they can begin the New Year fully refreshed and hopefully re-invigorated to carry out their work.
He noted that serving in the Joint Services is a ‘noble way’ to serve the country, and for that, all Guyanese are grateful.
President Donald Ramotar lends a hand in sharing lunch at the GDF Christmas luncheon at Base Camp Ayanganna
The President also expressed the view that greater emphasis must be placed on training and professionalism in the army.
“The world is changing scientifically, technology and therefore it becomes imperative that we train our force to make it even more disciplined and professional and with all the other disciplines that are necessary to create a modern army,” he said.
He advised that the training not be limited to military but must also to support life after the army. “So when our soldiers would have left the army, they can continue to make a valuable contribution to development of the country, by acquiring skills and by lifting their educational standards within the Guyana Defence Force,” he said.
President Ramotar also called on the soldiers to take care with the equipment supplied to the army. He pointed out that Government spends millions on the equipment to ensure the army remains efficient and effective, and damaging these only places demands on the infinite resources available to Government that could have been expended elsewhere, bringing greater service to the people.
President Donald Ramotar, and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds greets the soldiers at the GDF Christmas luncheon
“We still have to fight poverty in our country, we still have to create more jobs for our people, and we still have to provide quality education and quality health care to all our people and therefore, if we can care our equipment that we have so that we can have longer service from them, at a very high level and have value for money. Then indirectly, you will be making another form of contribution to the development of Guyana,” he said.
Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Mark Phillips noted that 2013 was a good year for the army. He described it as one where the officers and ranks continue to serve Guyana, defend and maintain law and order, the constitution and the way of life, and protect the national interest.
This is Brigadier Phillip’s first luncheon as Chief -of- Staff with the soldiers having been appointed to the position in September. He said the change has been seamless and the force remains a professional organisation.