From 56 to 60: De Lima proposes new retirement age for cops


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has filed a measure seeking to increase the compulsory age of retirement for officers and non-officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 56 years old to 60 years.

In filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 1899 last November 9, De Lima said that officers and personnel of the PNP are considered “too young” to retire at a compulsory retirement age of 56, especially when taking into consideration the relatively short terms of those who were appointed to the highest rank in the service.

“This proposed amendment will enable the law to be dynamic and responsive to change – especially because the educational requirement in the Philippines was significantly affected by the K-12 program,” she said.

“It likewise takes into consideration changes in life expectancy and years of healthy living, as well as the ability and desire of the members of the police force to work longer,” she added, highlighting that the life expectancy data in the Philippines have shown a steady upward trend since year 2000.

In a recent statement, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that extending the retirement age would ensure better and more experienced men at the helm of the PNP.     

He said that the relatively early compulsory age of retirement means that by the time a senior officer who is most qualified and experienced is promoted to the position, his term in service would already be coming to an end.

De Lima cited, in particular, the case of former PNP Chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan who only served for roughly two months following his appointment on September 2. He left the organization last Nov. 10 after reaching the retirement age of 56.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, said that the perpetual volatility caused by early compulsory retirement in the upper echelons of the PNP’s hierarchy can be a detriment to its organizational stability in the long run.

“Indeed, this stint for a PNP Chief is too brief a time to ensure continuity in PNP’s programs and develop a working relationship with one’s subordinates,” she said.

The lady Senator from Bicol also pointed out how the State would benefit from retaining experienced officers who could share the learnings and training they have accumulated over the years to their juniors.

“In prematurely ending the careers of the police force with a 56-year-old retirement age, the younger generation of police men and women are deprived of mentoring opportunities by their seniors who still possess sharpness of mind, high level of fitness, agility and strength of body,” she said.

De Lima added that her proposed measure could also yield some sort of savings for the government because “by increasing the age of compulsory retirement, the government may save money by not paying retirement benefits so early.” (30)

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