Bong Go, 3 other senators file bill seeking more benefits for ex-presidents

MANILA, Philippines — Senators Bong Go, Mark Villar, Francis Tolentino, and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa filed a bill proposing to give former Philippine presidents additional benefits as they still do “post-presidential duties.”

According to Senate Bill No. 1784’s explanatory note, presidents still represent the country to a certain degree, as well as contribute their insights to pressing issues.

“Despite the end of their term, they are also expected to perform post-presidential duties such as meeting with foreign and local dignitaries, and attending public events and other social engagements. These duties often require them to employ the services of personal staff and maintain private offices,” said the bill.

In a statement on Saturday, Go, who was a “Special Assistant to the President” to former chief executive Rodrigo Duterte, said that these privileges and benefits include personal security, office space, as well as “adequate staff provided by the Office of the President.”

The bill also designated that the Department of Budget and Management will include these former presidents in the General Appropriations Act, which decides the national budget per year.

“Kahit po ngayon na tapos na ang kanilang termino, hindi po ibig sabihin ay tapos na ang kanilang serbisyo at sakripisyo para sa bayan. Patuloy pa rin silang tumutulong sa tao, at dahil diyan, patuloy din po ang banta sa kanilang buhay,” Go said.

(Even if their terms are done, it does not mean that their services and sacrifices to the country are finished. They still help the people, and because of that, the threat to their lives persists).

There are only three living former presidents, namely Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Duterte.


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