PHP2,000 SSS pension hike bill hurdles House committee level

PHP2,000 SSS pension hike bill hurdles House committee level

MANILA — A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday approved the re-filed bill seeking to give a PHP2,000 across-the-board increase to the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) members.

During the first public hearing, the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization approved the motion of Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate to consolidate into one version the 15 bills, all of which propose the PHP2,000 pension hike.

Zarate, who was one of the authors of the bill, expressed hope that “it would also be immediately approved overwhelmingly at the plenary”.

”Our senior citizens have long been waiting for their pension to increase and if not for the unwarranted veto of former Pres. Aquino they could have already been enjoying higher pensions now,” Zarate said in a statement.

“We hope that the Senate version would also be expedited so that Pres. Duterte can sign this long-awaited measure before the year ends,” he added.

Former President Benigno Aquino III has vetoed the enrolled SSS pension hike, noting that it has “dire financial consequences”.

“More specifically, the proposed pension increase of Php2,000.00 per retiree, multiplied by the present number of more than two (2) million pensioners, will result in a total payout of PHP56.0 billion annually,” Aquino said.

The total payment for pensioners will yield a deficit of PHP16 billion to PHP26 billion annually, he added. PNA/