Press Release
August 26, 2007

P38.2 billion in benefits set for retired uniformed personnel

Some P38.2 billion has been earmarked in the proposed 2008 national budget to totally cover the bonuses, including the unpaid allowances, of retired soldiers, police officers as well as fire and jail deputies.

The amount is P6.3 billion more than the P31.9 billion set aside for the benefits of retired uniformed personnel last year, according to Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the Senate committee on public order, safety and illegal drugs.

The senator said the new money is intended to fund the full implementation of upward pension revisions under existing laws.

Honasan, a former Army colonel, lamented that in the past, many uniformed personnel retired but never got their full benefits. This was on account of inadequate funding, he said.

The senator attributed the problem to the failure of previous Congresses to provide the corresponding appropriations.

"What happened was that Congress passed laws augmenting the salaries of police, jail and fire officers, thus also raising their benefits upon retirement," Honasan said.

"However, subsequent Congresses never fully funded the implementation of the adjustments. Thus, the cumulative back obligations," he pointed out.

"With this new allotment, we hope that the benefits of all retired uniformed personnel as well as their dependents and survivors -- in the case of those who have passed away -- will henceforth become current," he added.

The senator said the P38.2 billion would cover the government's lump sum and monthly pension liabilities under three laws:

The 1979 the Armed Forces Retirement and Separation System Law (Presidential Decree 1638);

The 1998 Philippine National Police Reform Law (Republic Act 8551); and

The 2004 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection Reform Law (RA 9263).

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