The Philippine Senate approved on third and final reading on Monday, November 9, 2015 a bill that would that would grant a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pensions of retired Social Security System (SSS) members. A total of 15 senators voted in favor of the bill with only Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as the lone opposition.
Despite the objection of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, the senators voted in favor of House Bill 5842 or the Social Security Act, which seeks to amend Section 12 of Republic Act 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997.
According to Senate President Franklin Drilon, the passage of the bill is an early Christmas gift of the Senate to the SSS pensioners, who depend on these pensions for their daily expenses.
The SSS Pension increase bill was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Cynthia Villar Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Chiz Escudero, Jinggoy Ejercito-Estrada, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Deputy Minority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
Senator Cynthia Villar said that the average SSS pensioner receives P3,169, which is below the poverty threshold, therefore there is a need for an across-the-board increase of at least P2,000 per month.