The Senate on Monday November 9 passed the bill seeking to add 2000php across the board increase in the retirement pay of SSS pensioners.
Voting 15-1, the Senate approved in third and final reading HB 5842 (adopted House version of SB 2879) which seeks to amend Sec. 12 of RA 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997. The 15 Senators who voted in-favor of the bill were Sen. Pres. Frank Drilon, Senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, TG Guingona III, Gringo Honasan, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmeña III, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, Bong Revilla Jr, and Antonio Trillanes IV while the lone opposer was Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
Explaining his negative vote, Enrile said “granting of the “generous benefit” to SSS pensioners would eventually lead to the “bankruptcy of the SSS.”
On the other hand Sen. President Frank Drilon said the passage of the bill is Senate’s Christmas gift to the millions of SSS pensioners who depend their daily expenses on pension.
“The passage of this bill is an early Christmas gift of the Senate to the SSS pensioners, who depend on these pensions for their daily expenses,” said Drilon.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, the main sponsor of the bill and Chairman of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises said it is high time to give the retirees the amount of pension that will allow them to at least live with dignity. She added with the rising cost of living in our country it is just right and just to increase their monthly pensions.
“We must also consider that many of our retired workers, given their old age, have maintenance medicines and special requirements that add to their daily living expenses. Increasing their pension is the least we could do to reward them for decades of hardwork ,” Sen. Cynthia Villar.
Since the Senate adopted the House version, there is no need to go through the bicameral conference committee. The House and Senate just needs to ratify the bill and send to Malacanang for the President’s signature.
Once approved into a law, SSS pensioners will now enjoy 4,400php monthly pension for those with at least 20 years of credited service and 3,200php monthly for those with at least 10 years of credited service.