Retired military officials unhappy with gov't move suspending indexing pension to pay hike. AFP respects decision
Retired military officials were not happy with the decision of the government to suspend by one year the indexation of their pension.
“Definitely their (retirees) reaction is negative but they also have to understand that the budgetary requirement cannot be supported at the moment and hence the suspension is only a year,” retired Lt. Gen. Edgardo Batenga, former chairman of Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO), said Thursday.
Batenga explained their position about the suspension of the indexation of their pension.
“We were against the suspension, not including the retirees from the indexation in both joint resolution, both houses of Congress. So we fought that and therefore there was a compromise... and hence the suspension is for 2018 calendar year,” he said.
“It is still due us and at the same time 2019 retirees will be included in the adjusted salary raise for their pension,” he added.
“That is our position, that retirees should be included because that is their vested right granted by a law to the retirees that their salary, their pension shall adjusted when the salary of the active service personnel, military personnel is raised,” Batenga noted.
The suspension of the indexation of the pension of retired military and uniformed personnel was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
This was part of the joint resolution that authorized the increase in the base pay of the military and uniformed personnel. The suspension shall be lifted on Jan. 1, 2019 or upon the effectivity of a pension reform law, whichever comes earlier, the resolution added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it respects the government’s decision on the suspension of indexation while welcoming the increase in the base pay of the active soldiers.
“The AFP respects the decision of Congress and the President to suspend the indexation of the new Base Pay to the pension of retired AFP personnel, pending further study by the legislative and executive branches of government ,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, in a statement.
“Our soldiers are grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and President Rodrigo Duterte for his recognition of the sacrifices and the hazards the military service entails and his concern for the welfare of uniformed members of the AFP and their families,” he added, referring to the increase on the salary of military troops.
“We understand the prevailing economic realities that have been considered in the crafting of the pay schedule,” Arevalo said.
“With or without the pay increase, our soldiers shall remain committed to our sworn duties to the Filipino nation and its people,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS