Benefits, pension, increased pay assured under MUP pension bill

A bill providing for a reformed pension system for military and uniformed personnel (MUP) would guarantee pensions for all uniformed personnel, annual pay increase, and improved benefits.

House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez made this assurance during the "The Defense Forum" on Strengthening Legislative Measures in Support of National Security organized by the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Association at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

He said the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has taken decisive steps to improve the benefits and promote the welfare of uniformed men and women who are the true strength of the country's defense system.

Romualdez said the government is also ensuring economic stability through the reformed MUP pension fund bill.

'It is a testament to our commitment to national security and fiscal responsibility,' he said.

In September, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 8969 or the MUP Pension System Act.

'Nabuo namin ang panukalang batas na ito batay na rin sa kautusan ng ating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Malinaw po ang bilin niya sa amin (We created this bill upon the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. His mandate is clear),' Romualdez said.

'Una, kailangang mabura ang lahat ng arrears na naiwan sa dating pension fund at mabayaran lahat ang pagkakautang dito. At pangalawa, siguruhin na may sapat na pondo ang pension sa mahabang panahon. (First, all arrears left in the previous fund must be cleared and all debts must be paid. Second, ensure that the pension has enough funds for a long period).'

The proposed law covers all uniformed government employees with ranks, armed or unarmed, primarily involved in national defense, law enforcement, maintenance of peace and order, and providing security.

It guarantees a 3 percent annual salary increase for MUP for the first 10 years from the time the proposed law takes effect.

Under the bill, the mandatory retirement age is 57 years old or upon accumulation of 30 years of active service, whichever comes later.

For retirement, MUP may voluntarily retire after 20 years of service while key officers may retire upon completion of their tour of duty or upon relief by the President.

MUP killed in action or wounded in action resulting in total disability as certified by their respective services shall be considered compulsorily retired for purposes of computing their benefits.

'The proposed MUP pension law further provides that for those already in active service before the enactment of the measure, their monthly retirement pay shall be 50 percent of the base pay and longevity pay of the grade next higher to the salary grade they last held in case of 20 years of service, increasing by 2.5 percent for every year of service beyond 20 years to a maximum of 90 percent for 36 years of service and over,' Romualdez said.

He said the bill would also create two MUP trust funds - one for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and another for uniformed personnel services - and an MUP trust fund committee chaired by the secretary of finance to administer the funds.

It designates the Government Service Insurance System as manager of the trust funds.

Source: Philippines News Agency