MALACAÑANG on Friday said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified as urgent the Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) Pension Reform Bill.
“We would also like to inform the media that the Military and Uniformed Personnel Pension Reform Bill has been certified as urgent and needs to be enacted soon,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said in a press briefing at the Palace on Friday.
Mr. Nograles explained that the enactment of the measure is necessary “because as a result of the absence of an operational pension fund for military and uniformed personnel, their pension costs are fully borne by the government and incorporated in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) as part of the budget of the DND-AFP (Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines) and DILG-PNP (Department of the Interior and Local Government-Philippine National Police).”
He said the cost of the MUP pension “rapidly and significantly increases yearly, which results in a fiscal burden with constant claims against the government budget.”
Mr. Nograles noted that last year, “the pension budget requirement for MUP amounted to P75.7 billion without contributions from those in active service, and will increase to around P120 Billion in 2019 to cover the recent increase in salary as provided for by Joint Resolution No. 1 signed by the President on Jan. 1, 2018.”
To address the existing fiscal threat, Mr. Nograles said that “a Unified Pension Reform Bill is being proposed, which involves the rationalization of the pension system of existing personnel. as well as new entrants to the service.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said last Thursday that the MUP Pension Reform Bill is a proposal from the DND. The proposed measure seeks to raise the compulsory retirement age to 60 from 56 and cut the lump sum received upon retirement to 18 months’ pay instead of the current 36 months. — Arjay L. Balinbin