Dept. of Budget and Management plans to revise pension plan of retired uniformed personnel

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2017   •   31245

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_092017_Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

 

MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said they want to amend the existing pension policy of the government for Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) retired personnel.

Diokno explained both the AFP and PNP might face budget problems because almost 60% of their budget only goes to the pension of retired police and military men.

And based on the existing policy, policemen and soldiers do not give contributions for their pension plans while in active service.

When they retire, they receive their pension from taxes collected from the public.

“President Duterte, we are going to address this. Otherwise this will balloon into such a mess that maybe half of our budget goes to the military, ” said Diokno.

He explained that the government spends around P90-billion a year from the general budget for the retirement of uniformed men.

The Budget Department plans to transfer the management of pension plan of retired uniformed personnel to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

But GSIS said they will need an additional P7-trillion if the transfer will push through.

The agency explained that they need huge amount to fund the pensions of retiring policemen and soldiers as they end their service earlier than ordinary members of GSIS.

The retirement age set for all uniformed personnel is 56 years old, while an ordinary government employee retires at the age of 65.

The government also plans to have an automatic salary deduction from soldiers and police in active service which will serve as their contribution for their pension plan.

Currently, DBM is reviewing the proposed amendment on the pension law, and targets to finalize the revision before the end of this year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

COVID-19 inoculation mandatory but soldiers can choose brand – AFP spox

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The vaccination of military personnel against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be mandatory although the soldiers can choose which brand to receive, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Thursday.

In a virtual press briefing, AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said all soldiers will be obliged to get inoculated as ordered by AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana.

The directive came even as the military has yet to ascertain where its vaccine supply will be coming from, or if they are among those who will receive the first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government.

“Ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas po is not like any ordinary organizations. Tayo po ay nasa service-orientated organization. Tayo po ang inaasahan sa napakaraming mabibigat na tungkulin kagaya nga po ng pagharap sa pandemya as early as 2020. Kaya sinabi natin na hindi opsyon ang pag-ayaw. Subalit kinikilala natin yung kanilang kagustuhan ng brand na gusto nila” he said.

Military personnel who will be choosing other brands of the vaccine will need to pay for their own jabs, Arevalo said.

Those who refuse to get vaccinated will face sanctions under military rules, he added.

“We are an organization under military regulations. So, ang pagtupad sa mga regulasyon o sa mga tinatadhana ng existing legal orders buhat sa ating mga superiors just like this one from the AFP Chief of Staff, no less, will be dealt with disciplinary actions kung hindi nila susundin,” he said.

“But we are confident na hindi na tayo darating sa punto na iyon,” he added.

The AFP said all its employees and troops assigned in the medical and healthcare units will be the first to get inoculated against COVID-19.

The donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines from China are expected to arrive in the country this weekend. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Four Lumad parents of rescued children taken by suspected communist militants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Four parents of the rescued Lumad children were taken by suspected communist militants, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP chief PGen. Debold Sinas cited reports that the parents were supposed to meet with the police in Davao del Norte on Monday (February 22) for their trip to Cebu City However, only two parents showed up.

Reports also stated that the four Lumad parents were taken on Sunday (February 21) by suspected organizers of communist front groups who posed as police officers.

“Obviously, these four parents were lured into believing they would be meeting with their children in Cebu when they were taken by persons who disguised themselves as police officers,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief added that the said stunt was a desperate move of communist front organizations to get away from criminal liability of serious illegal detention and child exploitation.

Sinas also assured that police authorities are already exerting efforts to locate the parents.

The Ata Manobo children were among the 19 Lumad minors who were brought to Cebu City by communist front.

Reports indicate that the children were undergoing radicalization and revolutionary warfare indoctrination.

AFP confirms PSG personnel vaccinated vs COVID-19 experienced no side effects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) who received COVID-19 vaccine shots have not experienced adverse side effects.

AFP Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a statement, said the personnel volunteered to get vaccinated to make sure President Rodrigo Duterte will be safe from the COVID-19 virus.

The personnel received criticisms after they were inoculated without proper government authorization.

“We are pleased that PSG Personnel who have volunteered to be vaccinated in the pursuit of their mission to protect the President did not only perform a selfless act. They were also safe as an aftermath of the inoculation. No adverse side effects as we speak,” Arevalo said.

Last week, the Palace confirmed that the Food and Drug Administration granted the PSG a compassionate permit for the use of 10,000 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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