Binay bill seeks more benefits for former presidents,vice presidents
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay is seeking more benefits and privileges for former presidents and vice presidents and their family, such as providing them with security escorts “as the need arises.”
At present, a former president is only entitled to a tax-free life pension of P40,000 annually as provided for under Republic Act. No. 5059.
Republic Act. No. 2087, meanwhile, provides a measly P24,000 life pension for the widow of any former President of the Philippines.
But in Senate Bill No. 1346, Binay seeks to amend Republic Act. No. 5059 and repeal Republic Act. No. 5059.
If her bill is passed into law, not only former presidents but even former vice presidents can enjoy a tax-free retirement pension “equivalent to the salary of an incumbent President and incumbent Vice President for the former President and Vice President, respectively.”
They would also be provided with at least three personnel from the Presidential Security Group and the Philippine National Police (PNP) “as the need arises, a 50 percent discount on all public transportation and foreign travel, and a full scholarship for at least one of their children under 21 years of age, among others.
These benefits would be extended to the immediate family of the former President and Vice President, including giving their children security escorts until they reach the age of 21.
Binay explained that even upon retirement, former presidents and vice presidents continue to perform many of their public responsibilities.
“As former highest-ranking officers of the land, they have post-presidential and post-vice presidential duties to perform, among which are responding to post-presidency and post-vice presidency mail and invitations and attending to speaking engagements,” she said in her explanatory note of the bill.
While existing laws already grant former presidents and their widows/widowers certain benefits and privileges, Binay said the extent and coverage of it was “not enough to sufficiently respond to the unique position of said former high officials in the public sphere even after they leave their post.”
“The passage of this measure shall honor our former state leaders with the benefits and privileges commensurate to their former post as the highest officers in the land, and will maintain the dignity of the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President by ensuring that the former occupants thereof are properly taken care of,” she said.
Binay happens to be the daughter of former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
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