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Palace approves P1,000 SSS pension increase

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Malacañang has finally approved the P1,000 increase in the pension of retired Social Security System members promised by President Duterte.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea sent a memorandum to Social Security Commission chairperson Amado Valdez and SSS president Emmanuel Dooc authorizing the pension hike retroactive from January this year.

“Upon representations made by SSS, and subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations, please be informed that the P1,000 increase in benefits of qualified SSS retirees, survivors, and permanently disabled pensioner effective January 2017 has been approved,” the memorandum said.

The memorandum, signed by Medialdea by the authority of the President, was dated February 22.

The SSS earlier was unable to release the much-awaited increase this month due to the lack of a formal order from the Office of the President.

Valdez has apologized for the delay, saying the Palace has yet to release an executive order or a memorandum approving the pension increase.

Last January, Duterte approved a R1,000 pension increase for SSS members despite the opposition of some economic managers on its impact on the financial viability of the pension fund.

The pension hike was in line with his social contract with the people, especially the elderly and the poor, “to give them their best lives in service,” according to the Palace.

Also announced was the SSS contribution hike at 12.5 percent starting May, from the current 11 percent.
(Genalyn D. Kabiling)