Jinggoy files bill increasing veterans’ disability pension

In order to help military veterans shoulder the high cost of medicines and their basic needs, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada filed a bill seeking to increase their disability pension by 350 percent to 488 percent.

Estrada noted that the current pension rates being received by military veterans are no longer realistic and have been made negligible given the rising cost of daily expenses.

“Sa sobrang taas na ng mga gastusin sa ngayon, hindi na makabuluhan ang kakarampot nilang pensiyon na halos tatlong dekada na ang nakalipas nang huli itong nadagdagan. Ano mararating ng pensiyon na halagang P1,100 hanggang P1,700 sa panahon ngayon (With the high cost of commodities today, the meager pension they have been receiving for almost three decades is no longer sufficient. What can you do with a pension that only costs P1,1—to P1,700 these days)?” Estrada said in a statement.

Estrada currently chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation.

The senator said Senate Bill No. 683, seeks to rationalize the disability pension of veterans by amending Republic Act No. 6948 or the Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents.

“It is the intention of this measure to support our veterans by increasing the disability pension to cover, among others, medical and hospitalization expenses, the economic and social ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increase in the prices of oil, food, and other consumer goods,” Estrada said in the explanatory note of the bill.

Under the current law, the pension rates for veterans who were disabled due to sickness, disease, wounds or injuries sustained in the line of duty ranges from P1,000 to P1,700.

Under the bill, Estrada proposed that the current base rate of P1,000 given to eligible veterans be increased to P4,500 monthly while the other prescribed rates be rationalized to provide a disability pension as much as P10,000 monthly.

“Mas magiging makabuluhan ang paggunita ng Araw ng mga Bayani kung binibigyan natin ng pagpapahalaga ang mga kabayanihan ng nabubuhay pang mga retiradong sundalo na nakipaglaban para sa kalayaan ng ating bansa (celebrating National Heroes’ Day would be more meaningful if we honor the heroic deeds of our retired soldiers who fought for the natioin and are still living today),” the lawmaker said.

Source: Manila Bulletin