CONGRESSMEN, led by Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, on Tuesday welcomed the move of a panel in the House of Representatives seeking a P2,000-increase in the pension of 2.15-million Social Security System pensioners.
“This is a good gift to our elderly and we hope that Congress will rally on its passage until it reaches the President’s table for his signature to make this measure a law,” Romualdez said as the House committee on government enterprises and privatization approved its committee report on Tuesday.
Romualdez seconded the motion endorsing the committee report for plenary deliberations.
“This will show ‘malasakit’ [compassion] and extend economic relief to retired private workers who are in their sunset years. The increase on their monthly pension is a good act of Congress to champion their plight,” said Romualdez, wife of former House Independent Bloc Leader Martin Romualdez of Leyte who also backed the measure during the 16th Congress.
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu also lauded the passage of the proposal as a show of President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to help the pensioners.
“This is a very worthy proposal that would show Congress’ sincere desire to serve people’s interests. It is feasible, necessary and urgent. The current pension benefit was not adjusted enough to meet the current cost of living standards. A major step towards sharing the inclusive growth to the elderly. I hope the Senate will also expedite the passage of the measure aimed at easing the plight of our SSS pensioners,” Abu said.
North Cotabato Rep. Rep. Jesus Sacdalan, chairman of the House committee on government enterprises, said the report was adopted after extensive discussions with SSS officials and other stakeholders on the need for relief to pensioners.
Sacdalan said they were able to talk to SSS officials during an executive session where they found a way to invest the pension’s fund money to ensure financial viability, like investing on Public-Private Partnership agreements.
Last September 7, Sacdalan’s panel approved 16 bills all seeking to provide a P2,000 across-the board increase in the monthly pension under the SSS with a corresponding adjustment of the minimum monthly pension.
The panel approved the bills which seek to amend Section 12 of Republic Act (RA) No. 1161, as amended, otherwise known as the “Social Security Act of 1997.”
Once enacted, about two million current and future SSS pensioners and their families stand to benefit from the proposal, the proponents of the bill said.
The proposed amendment to Section 12 of RA1161 provides that the minimum monthly pension shall be P3,200 for members with at least 10 credited years of service and P4,400 for those with 20 credited years of service.
At present, the law provides for a minimum monthly pension of P1,200 for members with at least 10 credited years of service and P2,400 for those with 20 credited years of service.
The committee members earlier agreed to adopt the committee report of the 16th Congress, which consolidated various proposals on the P2,000 across-the-board SSS monthly pension to help fast-track enactment of the pension proposal this 17th Congress.