PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday said the government needs at least P4 trillion to kickstart an effective pension system for the country’s uniformed services, saying this is among the biggest problems he inherited from previous administrations.
Speaking at the 113th anniversary celebration of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, the president noted with expressed anxiety that the P2.6 trillion proposed budget for 2015 for the entire bureaucracy would not even be enough to cover pension for retired and retiring servicemen.
“What we came to inherit: There is no pension system for you that’s why we need to annually allocate funds in our national budget for pension. Besides, the pension of those who have retired are still indexed in the salaries of active soldiers and policemen,” Aquino said.
“We were told [that]we need more than P4 trillion to put up a pension system—as seed capital. That means even if we give the entire proposed P2.6 trillion budget for 2015, the funds will not be sufficient to cover just one program, the pension system,” the president stressed.
He blamed his predecessors for leaving such a huge mess but vowed that he would try to find a solution.
“This is how big the problem left to us is. But we are determined [and]we will continue to find a way to address this [problem],” Aquino pointed out.
He said policemen have been ignored over decades of wrong governance and ineptness as he promised that reforms will be made to better the lives of PNP personnel, both uniformed and civilians.
“This is exactly what we changed for the last four years that we tread the straight path. True enough, the time when you are ignored is over. Our administration continues to push for meaningful reforms that will strengthen your ranks,” Aquino said.
The President also touched on the sensitive issue of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) parts of which have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
He explained that much of the PNP programs in the pipeline were under the DAP, including the planned procurement of radios and patrol vehicles.
“Don’t you worry about the plan for ‘shoot, scoot and communicate’ [program]because the decision on DAP. We continue to take steps in ensuring your modernization,” Aquino said.