Duterte to certify military pension reform bill as urgent

By Azer Parrocha

February 7, 2019, 9:23 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte will certify as urgent a bill reforming the pension system of military and other uniformed personnel, Malacañang said Thursday.

“It was also discussed in the Cabinet meeting the military and uniformed personnel pension reform bill – this was proposed by the Department of National Defense, which the President said he will certify as an urgent piece of legislation,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo said Duterte’s decision might have come after some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have “complained” about their pensions.

Siguro nga may nagrereklamo sa pension nila, considering na involved na involved ngayon ang Armed Forces (Perhaps they have been complaining about their pension, considering the Armed Forces is very much involved) in our fight against communism, rebellion, terrorism,” he said.

Under the proposed law, pension payments for retirees will only start once the retiree reaches the age of 60.

Panelo said that it would not cost Duterte the support of the military because it is designed for their benefit.

Iyong sinasabi mong baka may kung ano 56 to 60, eh gusto nga nila iyon na hindi pa sila magre-retire eh. Kasi ‘pag 56 retire ka na, ‘di wala ka nang trabaho (What you’re saying about raising the compulsory retirement age from 56 to 60, they’ll like that because they won’t have to retire yet. Because when you retire at 56, then you won’t have a job),” he said

Kung 60, puwede ka pang magtrabaho (If at 60, you can still work) – you have additional four years. In fact, I think that measure is designed for them, for their benefit,” he added.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that the bill is a product of a series of consultations with members of the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group on Military and Uniformed Services Personnel led by the Department of Finance and the Bureau of the Treasury. (PNA)