February 18, 2018, 5:42 am
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Retired military officers want hike in pensions

RETIRED military officers are not happy over government decision to suspend the indexation of their pension to active soldiers who are getting a 100 percent in their base pay starting this month.

In a phone interview, retired Army Lt. Gen. Edgardo Batenga said military officers and men who have already retired should receive pension equivalent to the base pay of their counterparts in the active service.

“That is our position – that retirees should be included (in the pay hike) because that is their vested right granted by law. When the salary of the active military personnel is raised, (retirees’ pension) should be adjusted correspondingly,” said Batenga.

Due to lack of funds, government has suspended the pay hike of retired military officers for a year.

Batenga, a former chairman of the Association of General and Flag Officers, a group of retired generals and flag officers, said AGFO sent its position to Congress when the lawmakers were still deliberating the pay increase of soldiers.

“Definitely their reaction is negative,” said Batenga. “When the budget can support, it (raise in pension) is still due to retirees.” 

AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said: “The AFP respects the decision of Congress and the President to suspend the indexation of the new base pay to the pension of retired AFP personnel, pending further study by the legislative and executive branches of government.”

On the increase of the base pay of soldiers in the active service, Arevalo said soldiers are grateful to President Duterte “for his recognition of the sacrifices and the hazards the military service entails and his concern for the welfare of uniformed members of the AFP and their families.

“With or without the pay increase, our soldiers shall remain committed to our sworn duties to the Filipino nation and its people,” said Arevalo. 
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