THE Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises approved the proposed P2,000 increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) retirees Wednesday.
The committee chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon will now prepare a report that will be presented in plenary for deliberation next month.
A similar proposal was passed by both houses of congress in the previous administration but former President Benigno Aquino 3rd vetoed it saying it will bankrupt the SSS.
Gordon maintained a pension hike is doable and it is up to SSS officials who are receiving fat paychecks to find a way to make it happen.
“Some are receiving P5 million, P4 million, P4.5 million. They are earning but it is not reaching the people,” the senator said.
He added that it would not be easy for the SSS to implement a pension hike but the pension fund’s officials have to be innovative to make it happen.
Gordon said he will be sponsoring the SSS pension increase bill in November and have it passed by the chamber before the year ends.
Senator Cynthia Villar said the passage of the bill will be the Senate’s Christmas gift to the 1.9 million SSS pensioners.
“I commend the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon for prioritizing the passage of this bill,” Villar said.
The senator said she expects no opposition to the passage of the bill in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Villar at the same time urged George Ongkeko, Jr., the senior vice president and chief actuary of SSS, to improve their collection or ask for government subsidy in order to improve the benefits for 33 million SSS members.
“I expect the passage into law of this measure before the year ends. We all agree that the cost of living faced by pensioners has enormously grown and this increase is necessary in order to provide for the well-being of the country’s retirees,” she said.