Alan Cayetano joins call on Congress to override pension hike veto
Vice presidential aspirant and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has joined other lawmakers in urging Congress to override President Benigno Aquino III’s veto on the proposed Social Security System (SSS) pension hike.
A veto override requires a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and the House of Representative, voting separately.
In a statement on Thursday, Cayetano said “it is incumbent upon the legislative branch, particularly to all those who supported and signed the bill, to override the president’s veto.”
“We must demonstrate our strong resolve in advancing the welfare of ordinary people and show that we are the people’s voice and not just a rubber stamp of Malacanang,” he said.
“Social security is meant to help our pensioners after their retirement cope with the costs of living without their regular salaries. But what good is social security if what they get is so low and cannot even meet their barest needs,” added Cayetano.
Last Tuesday, Aquino vetoed House Bill No. 5842, which grants a P 2,000 pension hike for SSS members.
He defended such move by saying that the stability of the 31 million SSS members would be “seriously compromised” in favor of two million pensioners and their dependents.
Cayetano, however, said that they already made the necessary computations and found out that the pension hike is possible.
Citing the yearly reports of the SSS, the senator said the agency “is profitable” so it could “absorb the pension hike.
“It has more funds that it is investing and disbursing, and it has investments in various large companies. Moreover, it is enjoying a continuing rise in membership, which also increases revenues generated from members’ contributions,” said Cayetano.
“That’s why I don’t understand the reason behind the veto. Instead of helping our people especially the vulnerable such as the elderly, the sick and the unemployed get out of the bottom barrel, they want to keep them there. Sobra-sobra na ang hirap nila (Their suffering is just too much),” he added.
Cayetano, who is the running mate of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, said they would prioritize the SSS pension hike if elected in the 2016 elections.
“Ang kailangan ng mamamayan ay tunay na pagbabago na nakabatay sa matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon,” he said.
(What the citizens need are real change based on courageous solutions and urgent response.)
As part of their platform “to promote equality under the law and genuine inclusive growth,” Cayetano said they would ensure that ordinary Filipinos would “enjoy the full benefits from the government.”
“We will provide working people with a living wage, double their benefits, and guarantee that the government promotes the welfare of the population through sustainable assistance measures,” he said. RAM
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