AFP, PNP enjoy better retirement benefits

THE retirement benefits allocated for uniformed policemen and soldiers are growing at a faster pace that it has exceeded the retirement outlay set aside yearly for ordinary state workers, the budget department said.

Budget officials also noted that as retirement spending increases this year, there may not be enough active government workers around to support the retirement benefits of their retiring colleagues.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated P50 billion for the retirement pay of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) under the budget next year.

The P50 billion will be taken out from the combined P150 billion personnel services outlay earmarked for the two security agencies.

This was P27.6 billion higher than the P22.4 billion allocated as government share for the retirement pay and insurance premiums of state employees.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the Aquino government was aware of the budget disconnect and is worried that more taxpayers money would be spent to support the growing army of retired personnel compared to those who are actually contributing to the economy.

“In a few years, we will be spending more for the retired than those who are working,” Abad said.

He said the DBM is seeking remedial measures from Congress to address or pre-empt such scenario.

“That’s why we need to work closely with you,” Abad said during the budget presentation of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) at the Senate early this week.

Sen. Ralph Recto, vice chair of the Senate finance committee, noted that the P50-billion retirement allocation for the uniformed sector was among those items which drove up the total personnel services outlay for next year.

He said the personnel services item got the biggest budget boost of P575 billion or an increase of P100 billion from this year’s allocation of P475 billion.

The P575 billion personnel services budget is already 56 percent of the entire P1.645 trillion proposed budget for 2011. Dino Ng

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