Alejano: Military, police face possible ‘pension rationing’

MAGDALO Rep. Gary Alejano said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are facing possible “pension rationing” unless President Rodrigo Duterte finds a permanent solution to address the ballooning costs of retirement benefits.

Alejano, a former Oakwood mutineer, likened the problem to a “ticking time bomb,” fearing that the benefits for retired military and police personnel could be rationed or may not be enjoyed by all beneficiaries and their dependents as scheduled.

A total of P50.79 billion has been appropriated for military pensions under the 2018 General Appropriations Bill, representing 26 percent of next year’s budget of the Department of National Defense.

“If the government cannot afford to give all, there will be a scheduling of pension [release],” he said in a radio interview.

“That would be disastrous considering the fact that our retired [personnel] have their own family [to support]. Those retired, particularly the old ones, have needs for medical expenses. We do not want that time will come that their pensions are being rationed,” Alejano added.

He said the unsettled military retirees’ pensions have reached P20 billion, and that only P6 billion has been settled.

In April, Duterte ordered the payment of P6.421 billion to cover pension credentials from 2008 to 2013.

For the long-term, however, Alejano said a new law to unify the uniformed personnel’s retirement benefits and pension reform system is necessary.

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