DND bucks mandatory military pension contribution even for new entrants

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — For the current leadership of the Department of National Defense (DND), all members of the military should not be forced to contribute to the pension system, including the new entrants, a lawmaker said Monday.

“The stand of DND right now is even more noble because ang stand nila is talagang totally non-contributory, kahit na yung new entrant,” Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa disclosed during deliberations on the DND’s proposed ₱233.272 billion budget for next year.

[Translation: The stand of DND right now is even more noble because their stand is totally non-contributory, even for new entrants.]

Dela Rosa said he previously pushed for the mandatory contribution of new entrants, thinking this was the only solution to make the pension system sustainable.

“Pero yun pala ngayon nung dumating si Sec. Gibo, nakita niya na meron pang mga options na magiging non-contributory,” Dela Rosa said, referring to DND chief Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro who was appointed in June.

[Translation: But when Sec. Gibo came, he saw that there are other options that would make it non-contributory.]

Dela Rosa did not elaborate.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go asked if this could be done for other uniformed personnel as well, including police and jail personnel.

Dela Rosa, however, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) resources could not cover all uniformed personnel.

“Yung lupa nga ng [Philippine National Police] ay galing pa rin un sa AFP… Hindi talaga kakayanin," Dela Rosa said.

"Maybe, it will take Secretary like Sec. Gibo to look for a solution as far as the other uniformed personnel is concerned,” he added.

The pension reform for military and uniformed personnel is a priority measure of the Marcos administration, as economic managers warned of a fiscal collapse should the government continue to fully fund the MUP’s pensions and benefits without asking for any contribution.

The House passed its version in September, seeking a mandatory monthly contribution from new MUP entrants amounting to nine percent of their salary.

It is still pending in the Senate with defense committee chairman Jinggoy Estrada eyeing to pass it before yearend.

Former DND officer-in-charge Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said 70% to 80% of enlisted MUP personnel may opt for early retirement should the reform push through, adding that they had no problem with the new system applying solely to new entrants.