Aquino urged to consider alternatives to help SSS pensioners
While he said he respects the President’s veto on the bill granting a P2,000 across-the-board increase for Social Security System (SSS) pensioners, Senate President Franklin Drilon remained hopeful that the executive branch would still look into other alternatives to help the pensioners.
Drilon was among the 15 senators who approved the bill. Only Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile voted against it.
“I respect the decision of the President to exercise his veto power over the proposed measure that would have granted a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension under the Social Security System. It is within his prerogative as President to do so and this is part of the system of check and balance that is a critical component of our democracy,” the Senate leader said in a statement.
“If the President, after a thorough review of the bill, believed that the enactment of the measure would, in the long run, negatively impact the agency’s fund life and ability to provide a meaningful social security protection to its members and beneficiaries, then we fully respect his judgment.”
“We may have a different opinion with the President on this particular matter, but I am confident that the executive branch is looking into other alternatives that will help the pensioners, without compromising the viability of the SSS as an institution tasked by the State to establish, develop, promote and perfect a sound and viable tax-exempt social security system suitable to the needs of the people,” he further said.
On the part of the Senate, Drilon said, they would continue to legislate measures that they believe are critical and would be effective in uplifting the lives and welfare of our people.
“The Senate will not be hindered by this veto. We will look at it again and we will work hard to perfect the bill and finally give the people what they so deserve,” he said.
Drilon also noted that the bill was the first measure vetoed by the President insofar as the 16th Congress is concerned.
“The President and the Congress – both the Senate and the House of Representatives – have a harmonious and productive working relationship that resulted in the passage of numerous laws that help our people, including the mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all senior citizens and the law that raises the tax exemption ceiling on the 13th month pay, among others,’ he pointed out. IDL
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