BAGUIO CITY – Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda sought to appeal to President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Congress “to take immediate measures to alleviate the plight of the indigent Social Security System (SSS) pensioners.”
In a proposed resolution, Tabanda asked the Congress to override the President’s veto of the pension hike.
She further asked the President to work out the possibility of the national government’s subsidizing the amount needed and for the inclusion of the indigent SSS pensioners receiving less than P2,000 in the social pension fund of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development.
Tabanda said the President’s veto of House Bill 5842 or “An act mandating a (P2,000) across-the-board increase in the monthly pension with corresponding adjustment of the minimum monthly pension under the Social Security System, amending for the purpose Section 12 of Republic Act No. 1661 as amended, otherwise known as ‘SSS act of 1997,’” albeit done “because of dire financial circumstances,” has put to a disadvantage the indigent SSS members.
“The veto would deprive the about two million SSS pensioners who have been waiting for the increase to take effect since the present P1,200 a month pension they are receiving is hardly enough for their daily subsistence,” she said.
She said a good number of the SSS pensioners are indigents and have no other source of income or livelihood.
“Certain alternative courses of action may be undertaken to alleviate the plight of the pensioners. Congress may opt to override the veto of the President by a two/thirds vote or, the national government may subsidize the funding requirement for the pension increase should the fund of the SSS not be sufficient to cover the additional cost,” she said.
“If the two alternatives offered above are not feasible, then the indigent pensioners receiving less than P2,000 monthly pension can be included in the social pension fund of the DSWD.”
“These are gestures shall reflect the sincerity of the government in caring for its retired persons who contributed much for the attainment of the goals the private sector and which redounded to national progress,” Tabanda said.
Tabanda’s measure will be discussed at the city council soon./ A Refuerzo