THE National Treasurer believes reforms in the pension system for military and uniformed personnel would benefit MUPs in the long run.
“The proposed MUP pension reform aims to establish a strong social protection system that can provide a dignified post-retirement income that MUP retirees can rely on in their old age,” Bureau of Treasury (BTr) Secretary Rosalia V. de Leon said in her statement during a committee hearing at the Senate of the Philippines on May 15.
The hearing was convened by the Senate Committees on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation and jointly with the Committees on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, Ways and Means and Finance.
“In the spirit of cooperation, the economic team has and will continue to engage our [MUPs] and stakeholders in shaping this reform,” de Leon said during the hearing.
Moreover, the treasurer added that there are currently two bills on MUP pension reform filed in the Senate: Senate Bill (SB) 284 and SB 1421 proposed by Sen. Jose Pimentel “Jinggoy” E. Estrada Jr. and Sen. Ramon “Bong” B. Revilla Jr., respectively.
De Leon said the government’s economic team would convene a technical working group composed of representatives from involved agencies and stakeholders that will jointly discuss the bills.
Last March, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno announced that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved decreasing the contributions of government to the pool of funds for the pension of military and uniformed personnel, among other reforms to avoid a “fiscal collapse.”
In a news conference in Malacañang on March 28, Diokno disclosed that President Marcos decided to finally address the significant burden on government finances of pension to these state employees.
For this year alone, Diokno said the government will spend more than P120 billion (roughly $2.21 billion at current exchange rates) to fund the pension of those serving under several state institutions. The latter are: the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology; the Bureau of Fire Protection; the Philippine National Police; the Philippine Public Safety College; the Philippine Coast Guard; and, the Bureau of Corrections.
“It’s not sustainable. I said, if this goes on, there will be a fiscal collapse,” Diokno told reporters.
Currently, the pension funds of MUPs are completely funded by the government, unlike those from other sectors.