Proposed Bayanihan 3 includes P54.6-B pension fund for retired uniformed personnel
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed third Bayanihan measure, which aims to provide additional financial assistance to Filipinos affected by the coronavirus pandemic, also includes a P54.6 billion pension and gratuity fund for retired uniformed personnel.
Under Chapter VI, Section 27 of the substitute bill of the Bayanihan to Arise As One Act or Bayanihan 3, P54.6 billion is appropriated for the payment of pension arrears of the retired military uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).
The pension and gratuity fund shall be released in three phases: P20 billion for Phase 1, P20 billion for Phase 2, and P14.6 billion in Phase 3, according to the planned legislation.
In an interview with reporters, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, one of the principal authors of the measure, explained the inclusion of the pension fund in the Bayanihan measure.
“Ang kwento dito kasi, ni-request ito ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management), kasi kung sumusubaybay kayo sa mga ganap sa House, ito ‘yung na-cut doon sa 2020 budget so kailangan natin i-restore ‘yan kasi utang natin ‘yan sa mga sundalong nag-retire,” Quimbo noted.
“Talagang we cannot avoid that, kailangang mabayaran,” she added.
Quimbo was referring to the P74 billion budget cut in the pension and gratuity funds for uniformed personnel in the 2020 national budget.
Further, Quimbo said the pension fund in the Bayanihan 3 measure would also boost the morale of soldiers who are likewise considered frontliners in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pero actually ang mga sundalo natin are also considered as one of the frontliners, and magandang morale booster ‘yon na kung ikaw ay sundalo and nasa frontliner ka, at alam mong inaalagaan ka ng gobyerno sa iyong pag-retire, malaking moral booster din ‘yon,” Quimbo stressed.
“Tingin ko related pa rin siya sa COVID response in that way,” the lawmaker added.
The P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3 principally provides for additional cash aid to approximately 108 million Filipinos, regardless of social status, who are affected by the public health crisis.
Based on the bill, this financial assistance will be given in two tranches or P1,000 per tranche, thus, total cash aid would amount to P216 billion.
Moreover, Bayanihan 3 also seeks to provide wage subsidies, assistance to displaced workers, housing relief, assistance to the agri-fishery sector, medical assistance, and support to basic education, among others.
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