Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed optimism that the Senate will approve a bill granting the P2,000 across-the-board increase in the pension of 1.9 million Social Security System (SSS) members.
Villar, chair of the committee on government corporations and public enterprises, said among the priority legislations in the resumption of session is House Bill No. 5842, which seeks to amend Section 12 of Republic Act 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997.
“We will have the votes. Majority of senators support this measure because we all believe that what our pensioners receive after working for 20 years or more, is definitely inadequate and not sufficient to cover the rising cost of living,” Villar said.
The bill which is now on Second Reading, is principally sponsored by Villar, and co-sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Teofisto Guingona III, Francis Escudero, Ramon Revilla, Jr., and JV Ejercito. Same bills were also filed by Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Last June, the House of Representatives passed the bill on third reading.
The pension hike will benefit SSS pensioners who have worked and remitted premiums for 10 to 20 years. The minimum pension is R1,200 for members with at least ten credited years of service and P2,400 for those with 20 credited years of service. As of April 2015, the average pension is P3,169.
Villar rejected the proposal of SSS to increase members’ contribution from 11 percent to 15 percent to be able to fund the pension hike up to year 2042.