House OKs P2,000 hike in SSS pension
The House of Representatives on Monday night gave its overwhelming approval to two congressional acts, one granting the P2,000 increase in the monthly Social Security System (SSS) pension and another allowing the SSS board to raise the monthly contributions of its members without presidential approval.
House Joint Resolution No. 10, which proposed the P2,000 pension increase, received 233 yes votes on its third reading as Congress resumed its regular session after the holiday break.
There were 227 lawmakers who also voted for the approval of House Bill (HB) No. 2158, which allows the SSS board to raise the monthly contributions of its members without having to be approved first by the Office of the President.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said he was “delighted” with the passage of Joint Resolution No. 10. Zarate is one of the resolution’s authors.
However, Zarate and other members of the Makabayan bloc voted against HB 2158 “expanding the powers of the Social Security Commission (SSC),” because they believed this “will only be used to increase SSS contributions without first instituting reforms in the agency.”
“We call on the people, particularly pensioners, whom we give due credit for this victory—to continue pushing for needed reforms in our pension system,” Zarate said in a statement.
HB 2158 grants the SSC and the SSS, as well as their policy-making bodies, powers and duties comparable to other social security agencies such as the Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., and Home Development Mutual Fund, that will allow them to respond “with dispatch to the clamor for additional benefits by its members or any threat to the sustainability of the social security fund.”
President Duterte has approved the P1,000 increase in the pension of retired SSS members starting this January. The next P1,000 increase will be given in 2022, “or even earlier subject to conditionalities,” according to SSS chairman Amado Valdez.
With the P1,000 pension increase, the SSS will raise its current members’ monthly contribution from 11 percent of the salary to 12.5 percent starting May.
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