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Thursday, February 9, 2023

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Alejano bats for a sustainable but fair pension system for our retirees and active uniformed personnel

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As former officer of the Philippine Marines, Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano opposes the inclusion of retired and active uniformed personnel in the coverage of the proposed pension system submitted by the current administration through the Department of National Defense (DND).

“The provisions of the DND proposed pension system are disadvantageous and unfair to both active and retired members of the uniformed services. I do not support it, in fact, I have received information that officers and personnel of both the AFP and the PNP did not positively support the proposed measure. It has negatively affected the morale of our soldiers. Many even considered retiring early so that they will not be covered by the new pension system being proposed,” Alejano said.

The DND proposal, raises the compulsory retirement age to 60 years old, with at least 20 years of active service. Pension payments shall only begin to accrue when the retiree/ pensioner reaches the age of 60 with an 18-month lump sum upon retirement or separation instead of the current 36 months option. This means that a retiree would have to wait until he reaches the age of 60 before they and their families can enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices. It also terminates salary indexation which would then disallow pension increase based on the salaries of those in the active service.

I recognize the need to establish a retirement and pension system that is not only sustainable, but more importantly, fair to the retirees/ pensioner and active MUPs, hence I filed House Bill No. 8476 entitled,An Act Establishing a Sustainable Retirement and Pension System by Amending Pertinent Laws on the Retirement Benefits and Pension of the Uniformed Personnel of the Uniformed Services and Providing Funds Therefor.”

HB No. 8476 seeks to standardize the monthly retirement pay of those in the uniformed services, upon their retirement, to a monthly retirement pay equivalent to 2.5% for each year of active service rendered, but not exceeding 90%. It also establishes a Uniformed Personnel Retirement Fund (UPRF) to be managed by the GSIS to administer the payment of retirement benefits and pension of new entrants. The provisions of House Bill No. 8476 shall be applicable to new entrants, and retains the indexation of pension for retirees/ pensioners.

“It is very unfair for our retirees/ pensioners if the government decides to change the rules in the middle of the game. Sayang ang increase ng sweldo ng ating mga unipormado kung sa bandang huli ay iipitin sila kung kailan nila kailangang-kailangan ang bunga ng sakripisyo nila sa bayan”, according to Alejano.

“Dapat lang na tuparin ng gobyerno ang kanilang obligasyon at pangako sa ating mga retirado at mga aktibo. We should be grateful for their service. They have offered their lives to the nation. The government should let our retirees or pensioners, active uniformed personnel, and their families, enjoy these benefits,” the former military officer added.

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