Zaldy Co

Gov’t savings to fund MUP pension eyed

July 26, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 293 views

HOUSE committee on appropriations chairman and Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Zaldy Co on Wednesday said he and other House leaders are looking at government savings to help augment the military and uniformed personnel’s (MUP’s) pension fund.

“Bago pa dumating ang hearings para sa 2024 national budget, hahanapan natin ng pagkukunan ng pondo ang pension ng ating mga sundalo, pulis, at iba pang uniformed personnel,” he said.

Computations by the House of Representatives showed that government needs P3.6 trillion in the next 30 years to resolve the problems of the MUP’s pension due to backlogs and the growing number of retirees every year.

Co said Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has instructed him and other House leaders to ensure that the problem of the MUP’s pension is resolved within the year.

Earlier, the Speaker directed members of the House committees on appropriations and ways and means to find ways to raise P120 billion this year for the MUP pension fund.

“Maganda ang punto ni Speaker Martin na tingnan ito bilang installment at hindi isang bagsakang gastos,” he said. “Hindi na natin patatagalin ito. Sosolusyunan natin ngayong taon,” Co stressed.

To stop the ballooning of the MUP’s pension shortfall, Co is also looking at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to manage the fund.

Since 2006, the Department of Finance (DoF) advised past Presidents to find a resolution to the pension of soldiers and policemen after the shutdown of the Retirement Savings and Benefits System (RSBS) due to corruption.

Last May, President Marcos Jr. pushed for “self-regenerating” pension plans for both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in an effort to avoid a scenario in which funds would be depleted.

The President asked Congress to look for funds to pay the pension of the MUP.

Co agrees with President Marcos that the MUP pension fund must self-generate to avoid depleting it, by letting it earn and grow beyond those 30 years.

“Mahalaga kay Pangulong Marcos, Speaker Martin, at sa akin na maalagaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga uniformed personnel,” said the chairman of the House committee on appropriations.