Be circumspect, MUP ‘doomsayers’ cautioned | Inquirer News

Be circumspect, MUP ‘doomsayers’ cautioned

/ 05:10 AM June 21, 2023

Robert Ace Barbers STORY: Be circumspect, MUP ‘doomsayers’ cautioned

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers (Photo from a video posted on the Facebook page of the House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Tuesday cautioned other lawmakers against acting as “doomsayers” should the government push through with the proposed pension reforms for military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

“We cannot be doomsayers by issuing statements warning of mass resignation, mass exodus of servicemen or breakdown of peace and order. This may paint a picture of an irredeemable situation of our pension system,” Barbers, chair of the House dangerous drugs panel, said in a message to the Inquirer.


He urged his colleagues in Congress “to be circumspect in their opinions on this issue.”


Earlier, Senators Ronald dela Rosa and Robinhood Padilla opposed the proposed collection of monthly pension contributions from MUPs as part of the pension reforms being pushed by the Department of Finance (DOF).

Dela Rosa said that more soldiers, police officers, and firefighters were filing for early retirement for fear the proposed reforms would affect the benefits currently enjoyed by retirees.

The former Philippine National Police chief warned of a “mass exodus” of MUPs and advised the government to find a balance between fiscal collapse and the weakening of the security and defense sector.

Padilla, meanwhile, said the government should just look for other fund sources.

The pension of soldiers, policemen and firefighters is fully financed by the government from the annual national budget. This is in stark contrast to government employees and employees from the private sector who pay contributions for their retirement funds which are managed by the Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System.

Mandatory contribution

Under the DOF’s proposal, MUPs in active service will be mandated to contribute 5 percent of their monthly pay for the first three years of the pension system, while new entrants will be required to contribute 9 percent of their basic salary and longevity pay.


Barbers said that MUPs may be required to contribute the “bare minimum” amount to their pension fund so that “they [would] become part of the solution.”

House ways and means panel chair Rep. Joey Salceda, who authored one of the MUP pension reform bills in the 18th and 19th Congress and led an ad hoc panel that tackled the measure, said he had discussed his concerns and recommendations with the Marcos administration’s economic managers on the MUP pension reform.

“I have suggestions that are different from the administration’s proposal. We in Congress will flesh the matter out,” Salceda said in a statement to the Inquirer.

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He stressed that “ultimately, we must balance the needs of military and uniformed personnel with the sustainability of the MUP pension system” and that “fiscal sustainability is also national security.”


Salceda: Gov’t may face worse than mass retirement if MUP pension fund collapses  

MUP pension: DOF sets contributions at 5% to 9%

Senator backs plan on MUP contributions to pension fund

TAGS: Department of Finance, military and uniformed personnel, MUP pension system, Robert Ace Barbers

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