Lorenzana promotes refiling of military pension reform bill
MANILA, Philippines — A legislative measure that seeks to address the increasing pension of military and uniformed personnel will be on the agenda for the 18th Congress, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.
“We are again in the process of refiling the bill that we wanted to be passed last 17th Congress, yung tinatawag na Military and Uniformed Personnel Pension Fund,” he said in his speech at the turnover of new assets of the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila.
The defense chief devoted a part of his speech to discuss the proposed law of reforming the pension system of military and uniformed services.
The military pension reform bill was included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority list of proposed laws that he wanted to be passed by the 18th Congress.
The uniformed personnel covers the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.
“The government cannot forever fund our pension especially napakalaki na ng pension. Tumaas yung sahod, nag-doble din ‘yung pension,” Lorenzana said.
Pension benefits of retired personnel increase alongside the salary raise of those in the active service. Lorenzana warned that if this continues, the budgetary requirements for pensions will overtake those for active personnel.
Currently, the national government shoulders the pension of retired soldiers and other personnel. The defense chief said that the proposed pension scheme will apply to future entrants once it is enacted into law.
“It’s a very big burden to our government. So kung ‘di natin tutulungan ‘yung gobyerno by contributing to the pension fund, there will come a time na mas malaki yung pension fund kesa sa salary ng nasa regular force,” Lorenzana said.
“I’m sure the Filipino people will not like that,” he added.
Lorenzana explained that the new pension scheme will be partly funded from the profit of joint development of properties of the uniformed services with private partners.
“We have more than 30 years to build up our pension plan… The scheme is to offer the land of the Armed Forces for joint development and we will get all the profit at palalakihin natin ‘yan,” he said.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said that there will be a new unit managed by the Government Service Insurance System to oversee the new pension system.
This proposed measure also requires agency contributions equivalent to 21 percent monthly base pay of their respective uniformed personnel.
As of November 2018, part of the proposal of the Department of National Defense includes the granting of pension only when a retiree reaches the age of 60. It also recommends the mandatory retirement age of 60 years old from 56. /je
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