A bill in the Senate, mandating a P2,000 across-the-board hike in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) retirees was approved on Wednesday (Oct. 19) by a joint panel in the Senate.
Senator Richard Gordon announced the passage of the bill by the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, which he chairs, joint with the committees on labor, employment and human resources development, health and demography, and finance.
Gordon said he hopes to sponsor the bill next month. Congress will take a two-week break starting next week and it will resume on November 7.
Senator Cynthia Villar, one of the authors of the bill, said she expects that the bill would be signed into law before the year ends.
“The passage on committee level of the bill granting a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the Social Security System (SSS) pension is our early Christmas gift to the 1.9 million SSS pensioners,” Villar said in a statement.
During the hearing, she urged George Ongkeko, Jr., senior vice president and chief actuary of SSS, to improve their collection efficiency or ask for government subsidy in order to improve the benefits provided to 33 million SSS members.
Villar said she also expects no opposition to the bill once it reaches the Senate floor. The House of Representatives had already approved in a committee level its own version of the bill.
Both chambers of Congress must approve the bill before it can be transmitted to the President for signature.
Villar 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,” Villar added.