Additional pension: LP senatorial bets back PNoy’s veto
(The Freeman) - January 16, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Liberal Party senatorial bets do not think that the decision of President Benigno Aquino III to veto the P2,000 per month additional pension for Social Security System pensioners would be a “kiss of death” for administration candidates.

“I don’t think it’s a kiss of death. The voting population is not that emotional. The President was also concerned for the ten million members,” said Drilon in an interview with Cebu media.

Joel Villanueva, former TESDA chief and one of LP’s senatorial candidates, said that although he understands the disappointment of the pensioners, he, likewise, understands the position of the President.

“Naiintindihan ko ang kalungkutan ng ating mga kababayan lalo ng yung mga pensioners. Pero ito ay pinag-aral ng Presidente kung ano ang makabubuti sa nakakarami,” said Villanueva.

Both Villanueva and Drilon, as well as former Senator Richard Gordon, were in Cebu yesterday to visit the wake of ALU-TUCP founder Democrito Mendoza.

Drilon said that he also respects the decision of the President.

“We pass this bill in the Senate and the President has carefully reviewed this issue and he was concerned about the viability of the SSS, if he does allow this,” said Drilon.

“I urged the President and the SSS to look for a compromise at this point,” said Drilon, who is seeking for reelection.

The Senate president added that the SSS commissioners are authorized, under the present law, to increase the pension.

“So whatever they feel that could be granted and not harm the SSS, I would suggest they work on it immediately and recommend to the President an amount which can be granted to the pensioners without the viability of the SSS being put in danger of collapsing,” Drilon added.

Meanwhile, vice presidential bet and Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said that he would initiate the call to legislators to end the executive branch’s legacy of vetoing important laws and instead override the veto of the President.

“It is time for Congress to stand up for our millions of pensioners and give them the pension that they need. We must stand up against the executive’s awesome powers and ensure the passage of important laws that will help alleviate the lives of our people and show that we are the people’s voice and not just a rubber stamp of Malacanang,” Cayetano said in a statement.

Cayetano said SSS is meant to help pensioners, after their retirement, to cope with costs of living without their regular salaries.

Cayetano vows to lead the charge in mobilizing the legislature to override Aquino’s veto.

He said the legislative will require two-thirds vote of the House and Senate, voting separately.

“For the sake of our struggling people, I will do everything in my power to counter this veto. It is an uphill battle but a fight that must be waged nonetheless. We owe it to the people especially the vulnerable such as the elderly, the sick and the unemployed who are at the bottom barrel. Sobra-sobra na ang hirap nila,” Cayetano added. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/ATO (FREEMAN)


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