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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

25 March 2021 02:50:37 PM

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Thursday led congressional leaders in filing a bill seeking an additional P54.6 billion in the 2021 national budget to augment the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF) for retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP) in government.

Velasco said the amount will be used for the payment of pension arrears of retired MUP of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).

“The passage of this supplemental budget will ensure the final settlement of the long-overdue pension differential of retired MUPs, who have faithfully served the country while they were on active duty,” Velasco said.

Under the bill, the sum of P54.6 billion will be allocated out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, as additional funding and budgetary requirements for 2021 national budget.

The amount shall be released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Department of National Defense for the AFP; Department of the Interior and Local Government for the PNP, BFP and BJMP; Department of Transporation for the PCG; and Department of Environment and Natural Resources for NAMRIA, “in accordance with budgeting, accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations.”

Other principal authors of the bill are Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Committee on Appropriations chair ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano.

In 2018, Congress passed Joint Resolution No. 1 authorizing the increase in base pay of MUP in government.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the joint resolution in recognition of the critical role of MUP in maintaining national security and peace and order and their exposure to high-risk environments in the performance of duty.

The joint resolution also suspends the indexation of the pension of retired MUP with the base pay increase of those in the active service. The suspension was lifted on Jan. 1, 2019, resulting in the 2018 pension differential.

The 2018 pension differentials for MUP remain outstanding as of the current fiscal year.#