By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – The government intends to come up with “self-regenerating” pension plans for both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Friday.
Marcos bared the plan in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 160-megawatt wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.
“We are still in the midst of putting together the pension plans so that it would be self-regenerating,” he said.
“Now, we’re working hard on making sure that we have a pension plan both for the AFP and for the police,” Marcos added.
Citing a possible scenario of experiencing shortage of funds in the next six years, Marcos said he wants to make sure that both the military and the police will have a self-sustaining pension plan.
He said the government is reevaluating the pension system for the AFP and the PNP to avert a possible fiscal collapse.
“So, bago pa mangyari ‘yun, inuunahan na natin (We are doing everything before that possible scenario happens). We are designing a better system,” Marcos said.
In a Senate hearing on Monday, Defense officer-in-charge Carlito Galvez Jr. said Marcos is “very concerned” with the potential impact of the proposed reform to the pension system of military and uniformed personnel (MUP).
Marcos, Galvez said, is seeking a “continuous discussion to have a common ground.”
In March, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno pushed to overhaul the MUP pension system as he cautioned that the situation is “not sustainable.”
Housing program for uniformed personnel
Meantime, Marcos said his administration is also eyeing a housing program not only for the AFP and the PNP but also for other uniformed personnel.
“We are also putting together a program for housing for uniformed services, the police and the AFP… I think we will be able to do it at kasama na rin (and perhaps), maybe we can tie it up with the pension,” he said.
“There are many measures para hindi masyadong mabigat para dun sa sundalo at sa mga police (that we could implement so we could not burden the soldiers and the police),” he added.
On Wednesday, Marcos signed Republic Act 11939 which makes changes in the fixed terms of key AFP officials, to address some of the concerns raised by younger military officers. (PNA)