MANILA -- The state-run Social Security System (SSS) said Wednesday some PHP7 billion worth of pension will be released to about 2.2 million pensioners starting the first week of March, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed and confirmed the PHP1,000 additional benefit last January 10.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Dooc assured pensioners that they will receive the benefit increase starting March 3.
"The PHP1,000 benefit increase will be received by our pensioners in three distinct payments on three different dates for the months of January, February and March," Dooc said during the Social Security Commission Board meeting.
The pension increase for January, February and March will be received by the pensioners on March 3, 10 and 17, respectively.
"Starting April, the benefit increase will be incorporated in the regular pension," Dooc said.
In a memorandum from the Office of the President, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the government has approved the proposed increase in the benefits of qualified pensioners and beneficiaries of SSS.
"Upon representations made by SSS, and subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations, please be informed that the PHP1,000 increase in benefits of qualified SSS retirees, survivors, and permanently disabled pensioners effective January 2017, has been approved," the order read.
All retirees, survivors and permanent disability pensioners will receive the PHP1,000 additional benefit, which also covers all future SSS pensioners.
Meanwhile, for regular benefits, SSS has been releasing PHP7.4 billion per month since January.
On top of this, SSS has allotted about PHP6.9 billion for the release of the additional PHP1,000 benefit for the first quarter alone.
Total projected additional benefit expenditures for the first year of implementation of the pension hike is seen at PHP32 billion.
Almost 2.2 million SSS pensioners are expected to receive the initial additional benefit. About 150,000 new retirees are expected every year.
Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Amado Valdez likewise welcomed the decision of President Duterte.
"We would like to thank the Office of President Duterte for the support on this issue. To our pensioners and members, thank you for your patience and this is just the first good news that will come from me. There are more to come," Valdez said.
"This is a concerted effort. The administration really wants to improve the level of living of the Filipino people. Those who have less in financial aspect will have more in this pension hike. We have a new inspiration to work for more after this success." (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency