Senator Chiz Escudero is pushing for a bill granting monthly pensions to retired government workers upon reaching the age of 70.
Escudero said government pensioners are provided gratuity under Republic Act 1616. But the law, which was enacted in 1957, can no longer sufficiently provide for the needs of the government retirees five years after the retirement age of 65, he said.
The senator filed Senate Bill 2106, titled “An Act to Grant Monthly Pension to Government Retirees under RA 161 Who Have Reached the Age of Seventy Years.”
“The proposal recognizes that majority of this class of retirees has been living in abject poverty, and many of them have to depend on dole-outs from close relatives and friends. Aged government personnel who retired need monthly pension because at their late age their opportunities of earning are already almost nil,” Escudero said.
“The lump sum they have received from RA 1616 was greatly eroded by the economic slump and high cost of living. Their economic difficulties were aggravated when the country suffered from devastating effects of natural calamities,” he added.
Under RA 1616, the gratuity is payable by the last employer. The employee is also entitled to a refund of his retirement premiums he paid to the GSIS, personal share with interest and government share without interest.
The requirements to qualify are: 1) the retirees must be in government service on or before May 31, 1977; 2) has rendered at least 20 years of service regardless of age and employment status; and 3) his/her last three years of service prior to retirement must be continuous, except in cases of death, disability, abolition or phase out of position due to reorganization.
Escudero’s bill is included among the 19 consolidated bills in the Senate through SB 2854 under Committee Report No. 41 by the Government Corporations and Public Enterprises Committee in the Senate on May 31, 2011.
The consolidated bill is currently in the period of interpellation.
Two other bills of Escudero were consolidated in SB 2454. These are SB 2090, which pushes for the establishment of an education trust fund for the grantees of GSIS and SSS members, and SB 2093, which seeks to provide both teaching and non-teaching personnel of the education sector more representation in the GSIS policy-making body with the inclusion of the Department of Education Secretary.