‘Shared sacrifice’ underpins MUP pension bill, says lawmaker | Inquirer News

‘Shared sacrifice’ underpins MUP pension bill, says lawmaker

/ 05:38 AM August 19, 2023

‘Shared sacrifice’ underpins MUP pension bill, says lawmaker

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda at Kapihan sa Manila Bay. INQUIRER PHOTO

The House of Representatives is prepared to further discuss reforms to solve the pension woes of military and uniformed personnel (MUP), but additional talks should be “based on the principle of shared benefit and shared sacrifice.”

“Around that principle, we can discuss the details,” Albay Rep. Joey Salceda told the Inquirer on Friday. “But we must not lose sight of that principle.”


Salceda, chair of the House ad hoc committee on MUP pension reforms, made the remark after Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. opposed several provisions the committee proposed in the bill on the MUP pension reforms.


The bill that the panel approved, Salceda said, was a consolidation of 12 measures that were proposed in response to President Marcos’ “urgent” call in his State of the Nation Address for a solution to the MUP pension system that has become unsustainable.

The ad hoc panel is expected to submit the consolidated bill to the plenary for second reading.

Should remain unchanged

The Albay lawmaker, also chair of the House ways and means panel, added that the problems of the MUP pension system had been developing for years and Congress had been studying it for just as long.

Actuarial and legal issues were “abundantly studied” for a long time, “especially in the 18th Congress,” and “we proceeded after advice from them that we are in the clear,” Salceda said.

But Teodoro disagreed with several provisions in the consolidated bill, particularly “blanket mandatory contributions” of military personnel to their pensions.

He said all pensions and entitlements of soldiers, including the 100-percent automatic indexation of their pensions to salaries of active personnel, should remain unchanged.


Teodoro added that there is “no uniformity” in the duties and responsibilities of MUPs, stressing that “substantial distinctions” separate the military from other uniformed personnel.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Marcos administration’s economic team recognized Teodoro’s concerns.

“But as economic managers, it is our job to ensure the sustainability of the proposed pension fund and individual contribution is really necessary to achieve that,” he said in a statement.

“We are proposing a loan restructuring for MUP personnel to help them with their financial situation and allow them to accommodate the required contribution,” he added.

The substitute measure included the proposed creation of a special assistance fund for indigent retired MUPs, a 3-percent salary increase for 10 years, and uniform rates for lump-sum benefits of MUPs.

It also fixed the mandatory retirement age at 57 for all MUPs and retained the existing provision of allowing MUPs to retire one rank higher.

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READ: Salceda bill pushes pension reforms for uniformed services

—Julie M. Aurelio, Dexter Cabalza and Ronnel W. Domingo
TAGS: Military, MUP pension system, MUP reform, pension, Salceda

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