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Teodoro: AFP pension fund on way out

Posted in AFP by Erineus on February 3, 2009

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:24:00 02/02/2009

Filed Under: Military, Retirement, Graft & Corruption

MANILA, Philippines—A bill is under way that would dissolve the scandal-ridden pension fund of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and pave the way for a new retirement fund for soldiers, according to Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr.

But Teodoro admitted that setting up a new pension fund to replace the controversial Retirement and Separation Benefits System (RSBS) would be “more difficult.”

“The alternative, right now, is for the government to continue paying for the retirement benefits through general appropriations every year,” Teodoro told reporters on the sidelines of the Army special operations command forces capability demonstration before Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on Friday at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

He said the Department of National Defense had already prepared a bill that would scrap the RSBS and return the contributions to its members.

“The RSBS has to be dissolved and it can only be done by law… so we’ve already prepared for that,” he said.

The RSBS has been an alleged source of corruption in the AFP—with some of the officials, including its former president, retired Brig. Gen. Jose Ramiscal Jr., haled to the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court for anomalies in the management of the soldiers’ pension fund.

Ramiscal is facing 17 counts of graft and 12 counts of falsification of public documents in the Sandiganbayan involving more than P100 million in connection with the RSBS mess.

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