Militant lawmakers thankful to Duterte for SSS pension hike
Militant lawmakers on Tuesday expressed their gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the P1,000 Social Security System (SSS) pension hike.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the pension hike may be minimal, but would still alleviate the plight of the SSS pensioners.
“We know that the P2,000 hike is still very minimal for the required decent and livable pension. Yet, we hope that this would help our pensioners to somehow alleviate their hardships,” Zarate said.
Zarate said Bayan Muna will continue the fight for the implementation of a second P1,000 pension increase.
For his part, former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said he was happy the pension hike was approved because the fight for pension hike since 2011 had not been in vain.
Colmenares authored the pension hike bill that was passed but vetoed in the 16th Congress.
“I’m happy that the president approved the SSS pension hike and we thank President Duterte for allowing the increase. This means a lot to our senior citizens,” Colmenares said.
“It means that the work that everyone did since we filed the bill in 2011 has not been in vain. This will be of help for our senior citizens. Now SSS will have to work hard and institute reforms to increase collection and investment revenue,” he added.
Former Kabataan representative, now Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chairperson Terry Ridon in a statement said: “Salamat Tatay Digong.”
“More than an fulfilling an election promise, we believe the President has approved the pension hike because government wants to take care of our pensioners until the end of their days,” Ridon said.
“There is no clearer proof of his commitment to the public than this,” he added
Malacañang on Tuesday announced the approval of the P1,000 increase in the state pension fund starting this month, but there will also be a corresponding 1.5-percent contribution rate hike in May 2017 and an increase in monthly salary credit to P20,000 based from P16,000.
SSS chair Amado Valdez also said the second P1,000 increase would take effect in 2022 or even earlier “subject to conditionalities.”
SSS contribution hike would now be at 12. 5 percent starting May, from the current 11 percent, according to SSS President Emmanuel Dooc.
Duterte made it his campaign promise to push for a pension hike for senior citizens.
During the 16th Congress or before the end of his term, then President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the approved bill increasing the pension by P2,000 because the proposal would bankrupt the state pension fund.
Aquino then said the P2,000 across-the-board pension hike for all 2.1 million pensioners would cost the SSS some P56 billion even though it only earns an annual investment income of P30 billion.
The proposed law would have increased the monthly pension by P2,000 across-the-board- to P3,200 from P1,200 for those with 10 credited years of service, and to P4,000 from P2,400 for those with 20 years. TVJ
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