THE leadership of the House of Representatives on Thursday filed a bill providing for P54.6 billion supplemental budget this year to augment the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF) for retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP) in government.
House Bill (HB) 9149 was filed by Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Committee on Appropriations Chairman and ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric G. Yap, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen S. Paduano.
Velasco said the amount will be used for the payment of pension arrears of retired MUP of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria).
“The passage of this supplemental budget will ensure the final settlement of the long-overdue pension differential of retired MUPs, who have faithfully served the country while they were on active duty,” Velasco said.
Under the bill, the sum of P54.6 billion will be allocated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, as additional funding and budgetary requirements for 2021 national budget.
The amount shall be released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Department of National Defense for the AFP; Department of the Interior and Local Government for the PNP, BFP and BJMP; Department of Transporation for the PCG; and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for Namria, “in accordance with budgeting, accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations.”
In 2018, Congress passed Joint Resolution 1 authorizing the increase in base pay of MUP in government.
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the joint resolution in recognition of the critical role of MUP in maintaining national security and peace and order and their exposure to high-risk environments in the performance of duty.
The joint resolution also suspends the indexation of the pension of retired MUP with the base pay increase of those in the active service. The suspension was lifted on January 1, 2019, resulting in the 2018 pension differential.
The 2018 pension differentials for MUP remain outstanding as of the current fiscal year.