A group of police retirees expressed their delight and jubilation after the Senate approved a resolution keeping the Indexation Law and police retirees are included in pension adjustments as a result.
The joint resolutionNo. 11 sponsored by Sen Gregorio Honasan was approved by the Senate after a marathon hearing, said a statement from the Police Retirees Association Inc. (PRAI) released to the media, according to retired Police Inspector Boy Pilayre, president of PRAI-Bohol Chapter.
With the retention of the Indexation Law, retirees will be included in the 4th SSL pension adjustment in 2018.
There’s a caveat. The general appropriations act of 2018 has been already approved before the approval of joint resolution no. 11. As a result, there are no funds appropriated in the national budget for the pension adjustment.
To correct the problem, retirees will get a one-year differential in 2019. At the same time, the pension the retirees will be getting gets an increase.
Earlier, the PRAI leadership slammed the alleged dilatory tactics by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the delay the release of funds about the 26-month differential.
As a result, the retirees staged a nationwide rally to inform people, including the President, about the retirees’ predicament.
The rally gained support following the signing of amanifesto by the top leaders of the former police retirees group headed by its Chairman and President Police Director Van Luspo (Ret.)
The retirees demanded to release all pension differentials, which is about P3 billion for PNP retirees alone, on top the AFP retirees.
The group wanted to include the pension indexation in the salary standardization and be consulted in the matters of reforming the pension laws, which should be prospective and not violative of the present retirees’ vested rights.
In a manifesto, sent to various media outlets, PRAI said aside from the initial issue; it has been observed with great vigilance to exclude the police retirees from the increase of base pay of active PNP members this coming fiscal year 2018.
The intention of which, said the manifesto, gets the full support of active PNP members.
The police retirees have supported the increase of the base pay of active police personnel, but without prejudice to the vested right to pension indexation, which led to the issuance of Executive Order 201 by then President Aquino.
PRAI said it could not allow the move of the DBM to suspend the pension indexation. It has even proposed to Congress a joint resolution to the effect of putting a stop in the moves of the previous administration.
The group has continuously opposed EO 201 and tagged it as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno said the indexation must be suspended as it may cause financial risk to the state fund.
Allegedly, it would take P7 trillion to sustain the indexation with the increase of the base pay of active PNP members.
PRAI does not understand where the DBM is coming from on the issue.
SOFT HEART AND UNDERSTANDING FOR THE RETIREES
Retirees, like active PNP personnel, served the country during the best years of their lives.
Most of the retirees are aging and sickly and may have few years left to live.
The retirees should be given special considerations since most of them are relying on pension for sustenance as they enter the twilight zone of their lives.
The group is asking the DBM to consult the retirees first on how to amend the pension laws and avoid suspending indexation outright. Such moves, the group said, is like putting the carriage before the horse.
PRAI has reached out earlier to all concerned “to inform them” of the predicament but to no avail.