House approves proposed MUP pension reform system on 2nd reading

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading a proposed measure to reform the pension system of military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

In a statement, Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the ad hoc committee on the MUP pension system, said the bill hurdled the House because "it is fiscally, politically, and morally acceptable."

Salceda's statements said the key provisions of House Bill 8969 are:

1. Full indexation, with a provision for adjustment during adverse fiscal conditions

2. A guaranteed salary increase of 3% per annum over 10 years, which is already a sacrifice willingly made by the MUPs given the historical salary rate increase of 12%

3. The creation of two trust funds, one for the AFP which will infuse at least ₱44 billion in assets to the Fund, and another for uniformed services

4. Uniform retirement benefits for total permanent disability,

5. Provisions for assistant for indigent military retirees

6. A mandatory contribution of 9% of salaries for new entrants, with a larger government counterpart of 12%, and retirement of new entrants at rank last held.

He added that the provisions include the amendments that were accepted on the floor.

"There is no longer any debate between the MUP agencies and the economic managers that we need this reform," Salceda said. "There is also no debate that the military and uniformed personnel deserve some degree of retirement protection from the state they protect."

There will be two separate pension management systems under the revised bill – one for the AFP and one for civilian uniformed personnel.

At least 11 bills have been filed in the House pushing for a "sustainable fiscal framework" for the MUP pension system.

The revised pension reform for MUP is one of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s legislative priorities. Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the bill is expected to be passed by the end of the year.

In his statement, Salceda said the ball is now in the Senate.

"My counterpart, Senator Jinggoy (Estrada), has also insisted on the need for a reform," he said. "That is a welcome shift in direction compared to the past Congress."