House panel approves bill to increase retiree benefits

Edu Punay – The Filipino Star

January 22, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — A House panel has approved a measure to provide additional benefits to retirees.

In a virtual meeting on Thursday, the Select Committee on Senior Citizens recommended House Bill (HB) 9773, or the Retiree Equal Benefits Bill, for plenary approval.

The bill, drafted by Social Services Committee Chairman and Quezon City District 5 Representative Alfred Vargas, seeks an annual Christmas cash gift and the right to a pension increase, which which is denied to retirees under Republic Act 7699 or the Portability Act. .

Under RA 7699, retirees can combine their years of service in the private and public sectors, represented by their contributions to the social security system and the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS).

Vargas said the measure aims to correct discrimination and diminished benefits for retirees and to give all retirees equal rights and privileges.

The panel approved the bill despite apprehensions from GSIS Vice President for Legal Affairs Lucio Yu Jr., who said “the cash gift is not really part of the benefits granted under RA 8291 “, which increased the coverage and benefits of GSIS.

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