PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has approved a P1,000 increase in the pension of retired Social Security System (SSS) members.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella confirmed the news in a Palace briefing yesterday.
“President Duterte has approved the P 1,000 hike this month,” Abella said.
Duterte approved the hike amid calls for him to sign the proposal for a P2,000 increase in the pension of SSS retirees.
The move coincides with an increase of 1.5 percent in premiums of active members by May.
To streamline the SSS and ensure its viability, the president also ordered a stop to the “excessive allowances and honorarium given to top SSS officials.”
“I made the commitment during the campaign and after the elections that I will give the aging SSS members additional pension for them to buy their medicines in their old age,” Duterte said.
The president reached the decision to balance the interest of pensioners and SSS viability after a “long and intense” discussion with the Cabinet.
“In the end, President Duterte decided to fulfill his commitment of additional pension for the retirees but only after reforms to ensure the viability of the SSS have been implemented,” Malacanang said.
It was learned that the President does not want to renege on his commitment but also listen to the advice of the economic managers on the survival of the SSS.
SSS chairman Amado Valdez also said that Duterte ordered them to go after employers who do not remit their members’ contributions.
Duterte’s economic managers had earlier opposed a proposal to increase the pension to P2,000, with the President saying he was looking for a win-win solution.
The President had promised the increase during the presidential campaign.