Press Release
November 3, 2015

Villar confident P2,000 SSS pension hike will be approved by Senate

Sen. Cynthia Villar has expressed optimism that the bill granting the P2,000 across-the-board increase in the pension of 1.9 million Social Security System (SSS) members will be approved by the Senate.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said among the priority legislations in the resumption of session today 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 P1,200 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.

In sponsoring the committee report on the bill last August 26, Villar said, "It is a sad reality that majority of retired workers in our country rely solely on their monthly pension for their upkeep. On a daily basis, it would barely cover for their sustenance. Kulang pa siguro sa pagkain nila iyon. We must also consider that many of them, given their old age, may even have maintenance medicines and special requirements that add to their daily living expenses."

Villar was also quick to shoot down 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.

"SSS has billions of unremitted collections and uncollected premiums. They should at least improve their collection efforts first, before thinking of increasing members' contribution--which seems to be the easiest thing to do for them," she said.

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