SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his support for the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of National Defense and its attached agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Government Arsenal, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, National Defense College of the Philippines and the Office of Civil Defense.
In his manifestation, Go said that the country’s military and uniformed personnel (MUP) perform a vital task of ensuring the nation’s peace and security.
“Even the Constitution recognizes the invaluable role of the military and our uniformed personnel in protecting the nation and its citizens from threats, both within and outside the country’s borders,” Go said, citing the recent success of the military in nabbing the three suspected suicide bombers in Barangay San Raymundo in Jolo, Sulu.
“This is only one of the many personal sacrifices that our military personnel have to make in order to secure our lives, prevent unimaginable death of innocent civilians and destruction of property. They are important frontliners of our nation. My salute to all of you,” said Go.
The senator vowed to extend full support to the military and uniformed personnel.
“One of his first directives as President (Rodrigo Duterte) was to double the compensation of the military and uniformed personnel in recognition of their valiant efforts to protect and secure our country,” Go said.
“When I was still with the Executive, I was the one who continuously followed up and made sure that the directive of the President would come to fruition. Thank you also to our Chairman, Sen. Lacson, sa suporta po dito,” he added.
Go also assured that as a legislator, he will continue to fight for the devoted military and uniformed personnel. He shared that he has filed Senate Bill 393 which aims to provide free legal assistance to police and military officers for cases related to the fulfillment of their duties.
He also filed Senate Bill 1419 which aims to maintain financial flexibility on the part of the government while also ensuring that the State can and will continue to provide adequate benefits and remuneration to men and women in uniform.
“Matagal nang kailangan po ang pension reform. Mas malaki ang binabayaran ng gobyerno para sa mga retirees kaysa sa mga sundalong in active service. This is an impending financial disaster na magko-compromise sa fiscal stability natin,” Go warned, pushing for the swift passage of the measure.
“Noong 2019, merong mga sergeant majors na lumapit sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte. Nakiusap sila na huwag munang i-implementa dahil marami sa kanila ang gusto mag-retire at makuha ang mga benepisyo nila. Inilapit ko po ito kay Pangulo at pinagbigyan naman sila ni Pangulo,” he explained further.
“Kaya lang, kung hahayaan lang natin ito, magba-balloon na ang fiscal impact ng pension dahil sa old pension system. Hindi ito magiging sustainable in the long run. Balansehin rin natin,” he added.
Go said that his proposed measure is a win-win solution for the government and members of the military, ensuring the financial stability of the country while giving soldiers what is due them.
“Kaya nagkaroon ng compromise, isang win-win solution na nakasaad sa aking Senate Bill 1419. Magkakaroon ng MUP pension reform pero applicable lang ito sa mga new entrants. Para lang ito sa papasok pa lang sa active service matapos maging effective ang batas na ito,” Go clarified.
“Ang mga kasalukuyang nasa active service, hindi apektado. Makukuha pa rin nila kung ano ang inaasahan nilang makuha,” he further said. ###