Press Release
December 12, 2023

In support of PNP reorg bill, Bong Go fights for welfare concerns of police particularly retirement benefits

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, who is also vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order, voiced his strong support on Tuesday, December 12, for Senate Bill No. 2449, which aims to enhance the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Go, in his interpellation during the Senate Plenary, recalled the significant steps taken to bolster the police force during former president Rodrigo Duterte's administration, particularly under the leadership of former PNP chief, now Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Public Order Committee and also sponsored the bill.

"Full support po ako sa kapulisan at suportado ko po ang ano ang makakabuti sa organisasyon. Alam naman po natin noong panahon ni dating pangulong Duterte na naging Chief PNP ang ating sponsor na si Senator Bato Dela Rosa," said Go.

"Isinulong natin na mataasan ang sahod ng uniformed personnel, dinoble po ang sweldo sa entry level position sa tulong po ng mga kasamahan natin sa Kongreso. It is where I'm coming from," he added.

He also mentioned Republic Act 11549, which he co-authored, lowering the height requirement for PNP applicants, and RA 11200, which modified the rank classification in the PNP.

Meanwhile, raising critical questions, Go then inquired about the extent of stakeholder consultation in the drafting of the bill. He expressed specific concern about the new retirement age, asking, "Ano po ba ang posisyon ng PNP at maging mga nasa mababang ranggo tungkol sa bagong retirement age na ating pino-propose?"

He sought clarification on the rationale behind adjusting the compulsory retirement age to 57 and asked if whether those retiring at 56 would receive the same benefits.

"Papaano po 'yung 56 years old na gusto na pong magpahinga at makasama po ang kanilang mga pamilya? Can they receive the same benefits as those who are retiring at 57 years old?" asked Go.

"Nabanggit ko po ito, Mr. Sponsor, Mr. President, dahil sa aking naririnig na mayroon na pong iilan na pagod na rin po. At totoo ba na sa ngayon, as of this date, ay marami pong nag-file ng early retirement at hinahabol po nila bago po maaprubahan itong batas na ito? Sa ngayon po, ano po 'yung numero ng nag-file po ng early retirement?" he added.

Dela Rosa responded, stating the intention to synchronize the retirement age with that of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He addressed concerns about reported low morale and anxiety related to the proposed bill, reassuring that the retirement benefits and pensions of active personnel would not be affected.

"So, same po ba ang matatanggap nila when they retire at the age of 57?" asked Go.

Dela Rosa confirmed that the benefits would be the same, "as one year doesn't matter, as far as retirement benefit is concerned."

Dela Rosa linked the reason behind concerns of police personnel leading to early retirements within the PNP to another measure which is the pending Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) Pension Bill.

"So ibig mong sabihin, Mr. President, 'yung ibang mga nag-optional retirement ngayon o 'yung nag-early retirement ngayon ang dahilan ay 'yung pending na tinatalakay pa natin na MUP Pension (Bill)?," Go asked.

Dela Rosa confirmed this, emphasizing their shared position against any proposed change to the existing pension system of retired and active personnel. He also stressed the importance of communicating clearly to the police force about the effects of such legislative measures to their welfare.

With regard to the proposed military pension reform bill, Go emphasized firmly the need for striking a balance between the welfare of uniformed personnel and ensuring the country's financial security.

"Dapat the same, hindi sila (retired and in-active service) apektado. At maiintindihan mo naman siguro, it is where I am coming from lalung-lalo na po sa issue ng MUP Pension. Ayaw talaga nating maapektuhan yung mga retired at yung mga active na uniformed personnel," said Go.

He also urged finding alternative sources of funding rather than burdening active service members with mandatory contributions just to fund the pensions they are supposed to receive upon retirement.

Go continued, "Napakabigat po niyan sa kanila, katumbas po yan halos ng isang sakong bigas, mabigat po yan sa kanila. So pareho naman po ang ating posisyon diyan at iyan po ay narinig ko na yon ang ikinakatakot nila. Kaya yung iba nag-file po ng early retirement."

Go conveyed the urgency and necessity of addressing these concerns. He called for action to provide reassurance and peace of mind to those planning to retire, emphasizing the importance of their benefits.

"Napakaimportante sa kanila yung matatanggap nila upon retirement dahil mabigat yon, nakaplano na po sa kanilang mga pamilya," concluded Go.

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