Velasco leads push to add P54.6B to budget for retired cops, soldiers’ pension
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, along with other leaders in the lower chamber, has filed a measure to add P54.6 billion to the 2021 national budget for retired military and police personnel’s pension in 2021.
Velasco, House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, and House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano filed the bill to augment the pension and gratuity fund (PGF) for retired military and uniformed personnel in the government.
The P54.6 billion, according to the Speaker, will be used to pay retired personnel’s pension from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
According to the proposed bill, the amount will be allocated as extra funding and budgetary provisions for the 2021 national budget from any funds in the national treasury that are not otherwise appropriated.
The P54.6-billion shall be released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Department of National Defense for the AFP; Department of the Interior and Local Government for the PNP, BFP and BJMP; Department of Transporation for the PCG; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources for NAMRIA, “in accordance with budgeting, accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations.”
“The passage of this supplemental budget will ensure the final settlement of the long-overdue pension differential of retired MUPs (military and uniformed personnel), who have faithfully served the country while they were on active duty,” Velasco said in a statement.
Previously, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor said that the DBM’s estimated P172.9 billion funding for the PGF in the 2021 national budget was “significantly reduced” to P152.9 billion, impacting the payment of the 2018 pension differentials.
Yap confirmed that there was a budget cut, adding that in the 2020 national budget, there was also a P70 billion budget cut under the PGF, which was the cause of the pension fund’s inadequacy.
However, House Deputy Speaker Isidro Ungab, who previously chaired the House Appropriations committee, said Yap’s arguments that the deficient PGF for uniformed personnel were due to budget cuts in the 2020 national budget were “baseless.”
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