Duterte approves one-time financial assistance for pensioners

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte approves one-time financial assistance for pensioners
Senior citizens line up for aid in this undated photo.
Walter Bollozos, File

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of P20,000 one-time financial assistance to Employees Compensation (EC) pensioners to help ease the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approval is contained in Administrative Order No. 39 signed by the president last April 19.

The order cited Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) Board Resolutions 20-07-14 and 20-08-17 which approved the proposed grant of a one-time financial assistance based on the observation that pensioners "experience undue financial hardships because of their vulnerabilities, and in anticipation of the prolonged economic impact of the pandemic on their lives."

"The adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners," the order read.

The one-time financial assistance is expected to benefit about 31,000 pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Actuarial studies of the SSS and GSIS have shown that the social insurance fund can finance the one-time grant without affecting its stability and requiring additional contributions, Duterte said.

Under the order, the ECC is authorized to grant the one-time financial assistance to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and survivorship, in the private and public sectors, subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

The ECC, SSS, and GSIS were directed to appropriate and release the amounts needed to cover the assistance from the reserves of the social insurance funds under the EC program.

The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, is expected to issue the implementing rules and regulations of the order.

The order will take effect immediately after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

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