MANILA, Philippines -- Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro has requested a supplemental budget of P542 million from the Department of Budget and Management so it can increase and pay all outstanding pensions of retired soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by yearend.
Teodoro told retired military officers in a recent meeting that the Department of National Defense has already forwarded the request for the supplemental budget to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The P542 million supplemental budget will allow the department "to answer the deficit within the year to make our pensions current already," Teodoro said at the fellowship meeting of the Association of Retired General and Flag Officers (Agfo) at Camp Aguinaldo.
Defense Undersecretary for Veterans Affairs Ernesto Carolina told the Inquirer on Saturday that the supplemental budget was for the pension adjustment of the AFP retirees.
The monthly pension of AFP retirees is equivalent to the salary they received upon their retirement.
Carolina said a law was passed providing that it shall eventually be adjusted to the current pay of a soldier of the same rank.
"For example, if a major retired 10 years ago, he received lower pay than an active major. The pension of the AFP retiree will be adjusted to the current salary rate of those in active service," Carolina explained.
Carolina said the government has already released a budget that covered 50 percent of the amount needed to implement the pension rate adjustment of retirees.
The release of the P542 million supplemental budget will cover the rest of the amount "so that totally, we will be able to catch up with the adjustment," Carolina said.