In light of the current security issues in the country, Senator Sonny Trillanes IV has filed a bill providing for an increase in the standing force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines through the recruitment and special enlistment of Provisional Enlisted Personnel (PEP).
According to Trillanes, a former officer of the AFP, “The situation in Mindanao, as well as other security threats, demands a larger force from our military. However, budgetary concerns continue to become a challenge in supporting the pension and retirement needs of the military retirees.”
The proposed measure under Senate Bill No. 1473, seeks to establish a new system for the recruitment of enlisted personnel, who shall be called Provisional Enlisted Personnel (PEP).
An additional 20,000 PEP will be recruited who shall only serve a tour of duty of 5 years. They will undergo the same training and receive the same salary as that of their equivalent Regular Enlisted Personnel (REP). After their tour of duty, in cognizance of their contribution, those who will not be reenlisted as REP will be entitled to training and educational benefits, and will be given priority in hiring in the Civil Service, particularly in the law enforcement services and related agencies.
To resolve the budgetary concern brought about by the current pension system in the military, membership in the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will be compulsory for the PEP and those PEP who will be absorbed later in the regular force, thereby creating a new and separate pension system for them to be managed by the GSIS. The current retirees and active personnel of the AFP will still retain their old pension system.
“I am pushing for this measure to allow the armed forces to increase and strengthen its standing force while providing a long-term solution to the looming military pension crisis. More importantly, it hopes to address our security needs at this time,” Trillanes further added.