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DBM assures higher UCT, military pension in 2019

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday expressed confidence that the budget proposal for 2019 could provide enough funding for the increase in the unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) and pension for military retirees.

During the regular forum “Breakfast with Ben”, Diokno assured that the 2019 proposal would cover the increase in the cash transfers for indigent families from PHP200 a month (or PHP2,400 annually) this year to PHP300 a month (or PHP3,600 annually) in 2019, as well as the pension indexation for retired military and uniformed personnel (MUPs) by 2019.

“That’s part of the 2019 budget. We are going to take that into account… We’re confident that we have enough revenues to cover those increase(s),” Diokno said. “Kakayanin namin (We can do it).”

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, UCTs of PHP200 monthly shall be given to the country’s 10 million poorest households for 2018, which will increase to PHP300 a month in 2019 and 2020, or a total of PHP9,600 in cash subsidies for each household over the three-year period.

Diokno noted that indexation of the pension of retired MUPs with the base pay of those in the active service has been suspended for this year following the increased compensation of their active counterparts.

The pay increase for MUP was contained under Congress' Joint Resolution No. 1, which was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last January.

Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA