₱2.85-B released for FY 2018 Pension Differential of Retired MUPs

₱2.85-B released for FY 2018 Pension Differential | DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado | Juan Manila


MANILA — A total of 2.85 billion has been released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to several line agencies to cover the one month equivalent of the 2018 pension differential of retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

According to budget and management secretary Wendel Avisado, the initial release will benefit retired military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as well as retired uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NMRIA).

The estimated one month equivalent of the 2018 Pension Differential released to the agencies is allocated as follows:

AMOUNT (in thousand pesos)
Department of National Defense
Armed Forces of the Philippines 1,516,520
Department of the Interior and Local Government
Philippine National Police 1,207,222
Bureau of Fire Protection 91,669
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology 5,739
Department of Transportation
Philippine Coast Guard 28,004 28,004
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority 612
Grand Total 2,849,766

“The total requirement to cover the 2018 pension differential of retired MUPs amounts to ₱34.20 billion. This leaves a balance of ₱31.35 billion which is yet to be released subject to the availability of funds and in compliance with applicable rules and regulations,” Avisado clarifies.

“Rest assured that the Department will immediately evaluate and process all special budget requests after satisfying the requirements for the current regular pension and pension arrears as validated by the Commission on Audit,” he says.

It may be recalled that the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF) was significantly reduced to ₱152.9 billion from ₱172.9 billion when the General Appropriations Act was passed, affecting the release of the 2018 pension differential of retired MUPs.

“Hence, to ensure the continuous and up-to-date payment of pension, the DBM will continue to prioritize the release of current/regular pension requirements,” Avisado says.

As a final word, the budget chief said that the DBM is committed to fulfilling its mandate of promoting the efficient and effective management of the national budget to support its budget priorities while also ensuring that the needs of the Filipino people, especially of all military and uniformed personnel, are met. (JSM/JuanManila)

Returning OFW tests positive in Cebu

Returning OFW tests positive in Cebu | Covid-19 | Juan Manila


CEBU CITY — Another returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) has tested positive for Covid-19 despite having been vaccinated in Canada, according to a radio report in Cebu.

Citing Dr. Mary Jean Loreche of Department of Health in Central Visayas, the report said the patient who tested Covid-19 positive is a female, aged 25 years, who arrived from Montreal, Canada.

Loreche said the patient received the vaccine developed by Pfizer on January 13 and arrived in Cebu on February 9, where she underwent the subscribed quarantine protocols and then swabbed on 14 February.

However, instead of registering negative, the woman was found to be positive of the virus.

This is the second case of an OFW testing positive for Covid-19 despite getting inoculated abroad, the first one being an OFW from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who returned home last 25 January.

Loreche had earlier said it remains to be proven if the Covid-19 vaccines developed by several international pharmaceutical firms can actually prevent transmission or infection.

Sa mga datos ng mga bakuna natin . . . it can prevent severe disease, it can prevent clinical disease. Pero to prevent transmission, hindi po clear cut ‘yan kaya hindi po natin masasabi na ikaw, kung nabakunahan ka, hindi ka na makakahawa,” she said.

Meanwhile, a ranking health official who requested anonymity said in an earlier report that vaccines against the virus are not guaranteed to shield anyone from getting the disease but it can ensure the said individual will not have severe symptoms, unlike people who did not receive any jab at all. (JSM/JuanManila)

Biazon to IATF: Localize reopening of businesses

Biazon to IATF: Localize reopening of businesses | Rep Ruffy Biazon | Juan Manila


MANILA — Muntinlupa City representative Rozzano Rufino ‘Ruffy’ Biazon has advised the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to localize the reopening of businesses in the country depending on which local government units (LGUs) have already rolled out their vaccination programs.

Biazon gave the advice following an earlier call from a member of the University of the Philippines OCTA Research Group (UP-OCTA) that said the government should begin first with the much-awaited Covid-19 vaccine rollout before further relaxing the quarantine and minimum health safety restrictions in Metro Manila in order to avoid a further spike in the number of infections of Covid-19.

OCTA’s Dr. Guido David stressed that Metro Manila should not risk a surge in Covid-19 cases while the government awaits rolling out the expected vaccines because this could delay and scuttle the successful implementation of the government’s vaccination program.

“For Metro Manila, I think it’s too early to risk an MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) at this stage. Especially the vaccine rollout is yet to happen. So, the best thing is to wait first for the vaccine rollout,” Guido said.

Biazon supported this line saying that the vaccination program should be started first before easing restrictions because this would ensure that customers of businesses will be safe as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The reopening of businesses should be staggered and based on which LGUs have already implemented their respective Covid-19 vaccine plans,” he said in a statement.

“This way, we can ensure that the patrons going to these businesses will not be at risk for infection to the coronavirus and become unknowing vectors,” the solon added.

Added to this, the Muntinlupa lawmaker stressed that the IATF should synchronize the opening of sectors in the economy with that of the Covid-19 vaccine plan for that specific sector.

“We should identify sectors in the economy to open up, and the reopening should be tied in with a vaccination plan for that sector. This will help boost not just immunity, but more importantly, the confidence of consumers to actually patronize those businesses,” Biazon said.

“If we open the businesses without a confidence-building measure such as a vaccination program, the consumer response may not be enough to sustain the overhead cost, as well as lead into another surge of infections,” he further said.

To recall, the IATF earlier allowed the reopening of more businesses like cinemas, museums, and tourist attractions such as theme parks in areas under a general community quarantine (GCQ), including Metro Manila.

However, the mayors of Metro Manila have opted to defer the reopening of cinemas in the region amid continuing concerns over Covid-19.
Malacañan has rescheduled the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas for 1 March. (JSM/JuanManila)