Top officials from the Department of Finance (DOF), the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), together with a representative from the Office of Senator Jinggoy Estrada, held a dialogue on June 7, 2023 at Camp Crame in Quezon City with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to discuss proposed reforms to the Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) pension system.
The forum with the PNP is the second leg of a comprehensive series of consultations. Before meeting the PNP, the economic team consulted with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), also to gather their sentiments.
National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon discussed the goals of the proposed reform and emphasized its intention to maintain the quality of life of uniformed personnel while balancing long-term financial sustainability.
Treasurer De Leon stressed that stakeholder consultations form an integral part of the reform process. “This is precisely why we have these kinds of forums. Para makuha namin ang perspectives ninyo and together we can achieve a collective buy-in,” De Leon said.
Around 300 police officers attended the talks in person, with at least 1,000 online participants.
The economic team welcomed the concerns raised and assured the PNP that these would be taken into serious consideration when drafting the formal proposal.
“NO CO-MINGLING OF FUNDS”
Many participants asked if the pension of uniformed personnel would be the same as the pension for civilian civil servants. GSIS Senior Vice President George S. Ongkeko, Jr. emphasized that the GSIS would only manage the funds, and protect the independence of the pension for MUPs
“Sa GSIS, we ensure na walang co-mingling of funds. Huwag po kayong mabahala. Si GSIS po maraming minamanage na fund, at sa lahat po nung mga fund na yun, we make sure na wala pong co-mingling. Kanya kanya po talaga,” Ongkeko assured.
DOF Undersecretary Maria Luwalhati C. Dorotan Tiuseco added that the team was more than willing to have further conversations to further flesh out other concerns and details. “Rest assured that we would be more than willing to talk in smaller groups if needed so we can better explain the proposals,” she said.
PNP Lieutenant General Michael John Dubria delivered a message on behalf of PNP Chief Police General Benjamin C. Acorda, Jr., saying that the police would remain “open to further discussions.”
For his part, Lieutenant General Dubria said, “It is a fact that the President himself intended for this project.” He ended the event by saying that everyone “hopes for the best, for the good of the economy, the nation, and the welfare of all.”
The economic team is set to deliver another round of consultations on June 8, 2023 with the Philippine Navy.