All pensioners should be treated equally
(The Philippine Star) - March 12, 2019 - 12:00am

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) plans to increase the minimum pension of its pensioners to P6,000 per month, according to a news item that appeared in The Philippine STAR of March 9. Many pensioners of course welcome it as very encouraging news.

However, the GSIS through its president made it clear that “survivorship pensioners and those who retired under The Portability Law (Rep. Act No. 7699)  are not entitled to the proposed pension increase.”

Many  pensioners of course were disheartened by this discrimination, because they claim that under The Expanded Senior Citizens Act  (Rep. Act No. 9994), it is provided that all pensioners should be given equal benefits as given under the other retirement acts.

Our group, the Philippine Association of Retired Persons (PARP) worked for the equalization of benefits for all pensioners with Congress. In fact Party-List Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. filed a House Resolution calling for an Oversight hearing to review the implementation of RA 7699, in relation to RA 9994. 

In the Senate, Sen. Bam Aquino also filed a Senate Resolution seeking the review of RA 7699, with the purpose of equalizing benefits for all pensioners, but Congress adjournment to give way to the election campaign aborted further action on these resolutions. The House resolution will be archived to the dust bin, but Rep. Datol vowed to refile it. The Senate resolution is still alive because the Senate being a continuing body not affected by Congress adjournment, can still deliberate on all bills and resolutions already filed before adjournment.

We seniors hope and pray that the new set of senators and congressmen will be more concerned for seniors’ welfare and be responsive to their needs, among them, equal pension benefits. – Atty. MAFEO  VIBAL, vice president, Philippine Association of Retired Persons

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