Whatever happened to the proposal of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno to restructure the pension scheme for the men and women in the country’s uniformed service? That is, Diokno wants the pension amount reduced and that the men and women in the uniformed service be made to contribute to the build-up of the funds needed to set up the pension.
The proposal earned howls of protest from those still in active service and those who have already retired. Diokno’s justification is that the pension scheme is unfair because the other government servants receive so little. A certain percentage of their salaries is regularly deducted to help accumulate the funds needed to pay the growing number of retirees.
As we mentioned here in this edition of our column, the plan met a strong backlash. Some are from high-ranking military members, both active and retired. One, a retired Vice Admiral of the Navy, came out with a scathing letter addressed to Diokno, calling the secretary’s proposal arbitrary and selective. The former Navy officer cited the case of judges and justices of the courts whose pension scheme is similar to that of the military and the police.
He indicated that the military and the police, and other government workers whose pension scheme is similarly structured that if such would be compared as their battle, they will fight it to the maximum and fight it well so that this can be stopped. The government remains filial to those who work for the benefit of the majority, especially during times of great chaos and emergencies.
Meanwhile, the decibel of the talks relative to the Diokno proposal seemed to have diminished substantially lately. But it looks like the situation resembles an extreme calm before a perfect storm.
So our men in uniform appear to be laying low while the proponent of the pension scheme restructuring is reducing his charge towards attaining his goal.
But we know, of course, that our soldiers, policemen, and firemen may be laying low for the time being. But we know they are not letting their guard down.
For certain the men in the uniformed service cannot just let anybody in government turn their lives upside down. After all, if the government succumbs to the proposal of the Finance secretary, then it would appear that the government favors the safely situated Court employees as compared to those whose work is similar to having their foot already buried in the grave when they say goodbye to his/her families when they go into operation.
Again we are asking when can the ten-meter or so long bridge spanning the creek that serves as the boundary of barangays Catalunan Grande in the first district and Tacunan in the third district be given its road approaches on both ends.
The concrete bridge construction has long been completed. However, vehicles cannot use it because both ends are not provided with the appropriate approach since its completion. The Catalunan Grande end has a concrete pavement leading towards the bridge. But the small cemented portion does not connect to the concrete floor of the bridge.
On the other hand, the Tacunan end of the bridge still remains part of a coconut farm. Perhaps this situation of the bridge has made it unusable for years already. For now, what the motorists are using is still the single-lane steel bridge that, some time ago, was declared hazardous to motorists.
We are a regularly frequent user of that portion of the barangay road. We believe we deserve to know why the bridge condition is still the same since it was finished perhaps some three years ago already.
Pray, tell the people gentlemen of the Department of Public Works and Highways or the City Engineer’s Office.
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