IN a bid to help military veterans shoulder their medical and other pressing needs, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has filed a measure proposing to increase by 350 percent to 488 percent their disability pension.
“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?” Estrada, chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, asked.
The seasoned lawmaker said he would pursue the approval of proposed Senate Bill No. 683, which seeks to rationalize the disability pension of military veterans and their beneficiaries.
Estrada noted that the current pension rates are no longer realistic and have been made negligible given the rising cost of daily expenses.
“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.
Under the existing provisions of RA 6948, or the Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents, the pension rates for veterans who were disabled due to sickness, disease, wounds or injuries sustained in the line of duty are given a monthly disability pension that ranges from P1,000 to P1,700.
Under SBN 683, 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,” Estrada said.