Drilon respects PNoy’s veto on SSS pension hike

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 14, 2016 - 1:15am

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Thursday said he respects the decision of President Benigno Aquino III who earlier vetoed the proposed bill providing an additional P2,000 to the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) retirees.

”It is within his prerogative as president to do so and this is part of the system of check and balance that is a critical component of our democracy,” Drilon said in a press statement.

“If the president believed the enactment of the House Bill 5842 would, in the long run, have a negative impact on the SSS fund life then we fully respect his judgment,” he added.

Despite their differences regarding the SSS pension hike bill, Drilon expressed confidence in Aquino’s decision for the betterment and needs of the SSS and its members.

”We may have a different opinion with the President on this particular matter, but I am confident that the executive branch is looking into other alternatives that will help the pensioners, without compromising the viability of the SSS as an institution tasked by the State to establish, develop, promote and perfect a sound and viable tax-exempt social security system suitable to the needs of the people,” Drilon said.

Drilon said the veto would not hamper the Senate agenda and maintained that the Senate will continue to legislate measures to uplift the lives and welfare of the people.

”The Senate will not be hindered by this veto. We will look at it again and we will work hard to perfect the bill and finally give the people what it so deserve,” the Senate leader said.

The Senate president noted that the SSS pension hike bill was the first measure rejected and unsigned by Aquino insofar as the 16th Congress is concerned.

”The president and the Congress – both the Senate and the House of Representatives – have a harmonious and productive working relationship that resulted in the passage of numerous laws that help our people, including the mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all senior citizens and the law that raises the tax exemption ceiling on the 13th month pay, among others,” Drilon said.

Aquino vetoed the proposed SSS pension hike bill citing “dire financial consequences” which include a possible substantial negative income for SSS.

Last November 9, the Senate adopted HB 5482 without amendments after its passage in the House of Representatives on June 9, 2015.

ACIRC AQUINO BILL DRILON HOUSE BILL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LAST NOVEMBER PRESIDENT PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO SENATE SSS
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