MUPs assured of fair pension reform law
MANILA, Philippines — Congress will not pass a military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension reform bill that is “unfair, unsustainable” and degrades the hard work and sacrifice of MUPs for the country.
This was how two lawmakers sought to allay the apprehensions of MUPs that they might lose the present retirement benefits allowed by law if the MUP pension reform measure is enacted into law.
Tingog Sinirangan Rep. Jude Acidre and House national defense and security panel chair Rep. Raul Tupas met separately with representatives from the military to discuss the concerns of the MUPs regarding the proposed pension reforms.
Acidre, who filed one of the 11 MUP pension reform bills in the House, said he was willing to listen to the military’s recommendation to “create a win-win solution for all.”
“We will not pass a MUP pension bill that will not be fair to you, that is not sustainable and that will degrade the hard work and sacrifice of our uniformed personnel. The role the soldiers play in protecting our democracy can never be understated enough,” the lawmaker said.
Acidre met with MUPs in a hybrid forum organized by the Philippine Army’s Civil-Military Operations Regiment last Friday, during which he discussed salient provisions of the proposed MUP pension reforms.
In a copy of his remarks sent to the Inquirer, the lawmaker noted that the State is obliged to provide for MUPs’ welfare, whether they are in active service or already retired.
Won’t be disadvantageous
“Rest assured, we will not pass a bill that would disadvantage your future and the future of your families. That is the very least that we can do,” Acidre said.
Tupas, a former military official, met with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. to discuss the AFP modernization program and the proposed MUP pension reforms.
In a statement, Tupas said he and Brawner “talked about how to best realize” President Marcos’ directives for the military and national security.
“The guidance from the President on making sure the MUP pension reforms do not create cash flow problems for MUPs gives us ample direction on how to proceed,” he said on Monday.
The 11 bills filed in the House that push for a “sustainable fiscal framework” for the MUP pension system include House Bill No. 7 filed by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Tingog Sinirangan Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Acidre and HB 667 filed by House ways and means panel chair Rep. Joey Salceda.
Last week, Salceda said he was instructed by the President to “solve” the MUP pension woes amid concerns that the ballooning pension requirement might cause a fiscal collapse.
He proposed that MUPs make a mandatory contribution of up to 9 percent of their basic monthly salary, with the government contributing 12 percent.