Bewailing that many of them have been denied the benefits they earned after years of duty, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson made a fresh appeal Tuesday for the release of funds for the pension of retired policemen and firefighters.
Lacson made the appeal during his interpellation of the proposed 2010 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government, which supervises the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection.
“We can only hope during period of amendments we can put in some amount to address the concerns of these retired policemen and firefighters,” Lacson said.
He lamented some of retired firefighters had already died waiting in vain for their much-needed pensions up to now.
Lacson found an ally in fellow Cavalier Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, who said the issue is “close to our hearts.”
“This is a matter your committee will pursue beyond deliberations of the budget,” Honasan assured Lacson.
In late 2004, some 650 retired firefighters sought Lacson’s help in getting benefits and pensions that have been denied them due to a perennial lack of funds.
Lacson initially succeeded in realigning some P291.43 million from from the budgets of other government agencies for the purpose.
At the time, he said most of the 650 retirees are aged between 60 and 72, and 65 of them already died while waiting for their pension to be paid.