War veterans set to get pension hike

December 13, 2018
Rodrigo R. Duterte
Rodrigo R. Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign before the year ends the bill that will drastically increase the monthly-old age pension of Filipino senior war veterans that was already transmitted to Malacanang.

In all likelihood, Senate Bill No. 1766, known as An Act Increasing the Monthly Old-Age Pension of Senior Veterans, is expected to be implemented early next year, providing the more than 6,000 Filipino World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans a total of P20,000 monthly old-age pension, an increase of P15,000 over their previous P5,000 annuity.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan, principal author and sponsor of the bill, said the government will spend a total of P887.94 million in granting the additional P15,000 increase to the current P5,000 monthly old-age pension as provided for under the existing RA 7696, Honasan said.

Both Houses of Congress decided to do away with the bicameral conference after the House of Representatives moved to adopt the Senate version and concur with its amended provisions last November 13.

“The House (of Representatives), even if they first started this (piece of legislation), decided to adopt the amendments of the Senate, practically adopting the Senate version. It will lapse into law after 30 days (from Nov.26) if the President fails to act on it,” the chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security said.

“Recognizing the urgency of the said measure, we believe that the President will sign it into law. Tuwang-tuwa din ako dahil I’ll be riding off into the sunset next year,” Honasan, whose term of office expires in June 2019, said.

The increased pension, however, will not be transferable to any member of their family or dependents. In the event of death of the senior veteran, the pension of the surviving spouse shall still remain at P5,000 a month.

“The challenge is to institutionalize this to the point that it’s almost engraved in the stone, that whoever is the president, whoever sits in Congress, will make sure that our veterans will live forever in the memory of this nation,” Honasan said.