House shuts out SSS veto override
Abruptly and unceremoniously, the House of Representatives adjourned its sessions Wednesday night to quell an attempt to force an override of President Aquino’s veto of a bill that would increase the Social Security System (SSS) pension.
Without calling the roll or going through other business, House leaders moved to adjourn the legislative session until May, even as the Makabayan bloc led by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares tried to push a resolution asking the chamber to override President Aquino’s veto of the SSS bill.
The bill would have raised the pension of SSS retirees by P2,000 across the board, but Mr. Aquino, in a highly unpopular decision, vetoed the proposal, arguing that it would bankrupt the SSS in a matter of years.
Elderly guests outraged
Dozens of protesters in the House gallery, most of them elderly people, were outraged at the abruptness of the adjournment.
They raised a ruckus and began chanting “Override!” with some of them facing the media to air their grievances.
Colmenares, who was driven to tears by the sudden adjournment, and other minority lawmakers went up to the gallery to commiserate with the protesters.
With the adjournment, the 287-strong chamber slammed the door on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and other important bills such as the antidynasty and freedom of information measures.
There were a number of legislative successes, though, including the passage on third reading this week of bills such as the proposed Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act, the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, Foreign Investment Liberalization Act, and the two-year extension of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board.
When the House resumes session in May, it will convene as a national board of canvassers for the elections, with no time for other legislative business.
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