Thursday, January 30, 2014
PNoy Willing to Give Support for "Doable" Anti-Dynasty Bill
Pres. Aquino is willing to support a bill seeking to ban political dynasties in the country if it is doable. However he admitted that the anti-political dynasty bill is not a priority measure of the administration for now, saying he prefers the swift passage of a bill seeking to reform the pension system of the military and police. Caloocan City Rep. Erice earlier urged the president to certify as urgent a bill that will meet a constitutional provision that prohibits political dynasties in the country, saying it's passage is long overdue. The president said the administration has listed many priority bills, including a measure to reform the military and police retirement and separation pay system to prevent the ballooning of the government's pension requirements. PNoy expressed concern about the growing obligations in the pension of the uniformed security personnel which has reached Php 50 Billion last year. The amount is expected to rise around Php 80 Billion by 2016, according to the president. The problem stems from the indexation provision of the retirement law which increases the retirees' benefits whenever the salaries of active soldiers are upgraded. Pres. Aquino explained that huge portion of the national budget has annually been allocated to pay the increasing pension which has prevented the government from hiring new uniformed personnel. He said the government would have wanted to hire 20,000 soldiers but couldn't do so due to limited funds. Under the proposed new pension system, PNoy said the government would look for ways to boost the seed capital and integrate military and police pension funds into the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Pres. Aquino also pointed out that the pension reform bill would help reduce the "pressure on the budget". He warned that if the pension deficit grows, this would eat into the government's budget meant for the other worthwhile infrastructure projects and social services.
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