Press Release
October 6, 2020

Gordon bats for long-term solution to address the issue on uniformed personnel's pension

With the bloating budget for pensioners gnawing at defense spending for years, Senator Richard J. Gordon has proposed going to the bottom-line of the issue to be able to come up with a long-term solution.

Gordon made the call during the hearing on proposed measures seeking to rationalize and establish reforms in order to create a fair, sustainable and clear mechanism for the pensions of MUP (military uniformed personnel) and other related matters.

"This is a very serious problem. I believe that the bottom-line must be secured first. How much do we actually owe? The bottom-line really is to look for money upon which we can pay this on the longer run. We really have to do a combination of looking for money and making adjustments on the retirement age and, at the same time, try and figure out a situation where we can get our military well-paid," the senator said.

"The other way we can look for money is to bring in investments. Enrich the country so that we can strengthen the military. That is an action that has been done by the Japanese, by the Koreans, by the Chinese, and by everybody. Until we increased the economy, we won't be able to pay right away our military," he pointed out. Gordon has also filed a bill seeking to increase the retirement age of the military to 60 from the current age of 56, which also puts pressure on the pension system.

The uniformed personnel covers the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority. Pension benefits of retired personnel increase alongside pay raises of those in active service.

Gordon said he is in favour of having a separate fund run by the Government Service Insurance System but the accounts should be clear, noting that when the military run the Armed Forces Retirement Board, it was run to the ground.

"We really have to be careful these days. With the pandemic upon us and the expenditures that we are making, labas lahat iyan. Walang bumabalik na pera diyan. So, kapag ganyan ang labas, nawawaldas ang pera na hindi naman natin gustong mawaldas pero kailangan nating bigyan ang tao ng suporta. So to my mind, it is important that we tarry a little, let's do it step by step and continue the TWG (technical working group) every day until we are able to find out what kind of solutions we can have," he said.

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