Recto backs Senate bill for MUP pension reform

By Anna Leah Gonzales

January 24, 2024, 7:49 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Finance Secretary Ralph Recto on Wednesday expressed support to a Senate bill which seeks to reform the military and uniformed personnel's (MUP) pension system.

"My personal stand is the same as the position now in the Senate," Recto said in a briefing at the Bureau of Customs office in Manila.

Under Senate Bill 2501 sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, only new entrants in the country's military and uniformed services will have pension deductions in their monthly pay.

For those who will enter the service after the enactment of the bill, the military personnel's contribution will be 7 percent of their base pay and longevity pay.

The government, on the other hand, will have a 14 percent contribution.

The rest of those in the uniformed services will contribute 9 percent, while the government will provide a 12 percent contribution to their pension funds.

Once in place, the retirement pay will be increased to a maximum of 90 percent of the base pay and longevity pay for all MUP, from the current 75 percent to 85 percent.

"The government has a social contract with our MUPs. Based on that, we promised them a certain pension. So, I think [the] government should respect that. And I think the Senate Bill respects that," Recto said.

"What we can do for the reform is all new entrants, for example, Jan. 1, 2025, will have a different pension system similar to what civilians have that they will contribute now to, let's say, the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System). That there will be a contribution system moving forward," he added.

Recto said idle government assets could also be developed to partially fund the MUP’s pension.

"There might be an opportunity that certain government assets or assets owned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines could be used to pay for the pension partially. At the same time, maybe those assets are idle and government can, together with the private sector, can develop these assets," he said.

"So, you hit two birds with one stone there. You're able to use those assets to pay the pension at the same time they're idle. We can create more value in these assets as well. So that's how I'm looking at it," he added. (PNA)