The Senate committee on national defense and security, peace, unification and reconciliation will tackle the measures seeking to reform the military and uniform personnel (MUP) pension system in May.
This was disclosed by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, the panel’s chairman, days after Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is “okay” with the proposal to reform the pension system for the MUP as he warned that failure to address the ballooning cost of pensions for retirees could lead to a “fiscal collapse.”
“These measures are pending in my Committee on National Defense and Security and will be taken up when we resume our plenary work next month,” Estrada said in a statement.
The sessions in Congress are currently adjourned and will resume on May 7.
Among the bills that will be deliberated once sessions resume is Estrada's Senate Bill 284 which seeks to provide a unified system for separation, retirement, and pension of MUP.
Estrada said this proposed legislation will address the “fiscal hemorrhage” that the current pension system is causing to the country’s coffers.
“Indeed, we are facing a ballooning pension requirement without viable funding sources. The MUP pensions are way higher than the budgetary requirement for the base pay of active soldiers and policemen,” he said.
“It’s for this reason that we have laid down a proposal to provide a mechanism for our government to balance and sustain financial flexibility while also guaranteeing our men and women in uniform that the state can and will continue to provide suitable benefits and remuneration to them as there is a need to ensure and maintain a viable pension system,” he added.
Estrada also mentioned the bill which seeks to rationalize the disability pensions of veterans, which is currently pending on second reading.
“Inuna po namin ito dahil sa ganang amin, may pangangailangan ang reporma sa pension ng mga beteranong may tinamong kapansanan in the line of duty,” the senator said.
(We prioritized this because in our view, we also need to introduce reforms in the current pension system for veterans who were disabled in the line of duty.)
Earlier, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa expressed confidence that the bills introducing a new MUP pension system will pass the 19th Congress.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said this reform is “long overdue” and he will wait for the administration’s version to examine their approach. —VAL, GMA Integrated News