The P2,000 across-the-board increase in Social Security System (SSS) pensioners’ benefits will not be released by January if Congress fails to approve its resolution by Christmas break.
According to Dean Amado Valdez, Social Security Commission (SSC) chairman, the two chambers of Congress should approve their joint resolution first on the pension increase so that it can be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his final approval before the SSS releases the pension increase of elderly fund members.
Under the joint resolution, Congress is directing the SSS to give an additional P2,000 to the existing P1,200 to P2,400 monthly benefits of the SSS pensioners.
The P2,000 increase will be given in two schedules–first P1,000 will be in January next year and the remaining P1,000 on or before 2022.
Thus, Valdez is strongly urging the leadership of the two chambers to act on the matter before Christmas Day.
Valdez, dean of the College of Law of the University of the East before becoming SSC chairman, noted that the joint resolution and Duterte’s approval are both needed before SSC can act on it.
He said “the SSS is also guided by the Department of Finance in ensuring that the implementation of the proposed pension increase will not drive the fund to the brink of bankruptcy. We are wary of possible criticisms for our support for the pension increase, and we don’t want to be seen as irresponsible.”
He said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd is keen on ensuring that SSS funds would last at least until 2039.