Bill hiking veterans’ disability pension clears Senate

(PHILSTAR) MANILA, Philippines — In a 21-0 vote, the Senate passed Monday on final reading a bill seeking to increase by 350 to 488 percent the disability pension of veterans and their beneficiaries.

Senate Bill No. 1480 proposes a raise in the monthly disability pension base rate to P4,500 from the current P1,000. Those receiving P1,200, P1,300, P1,400, P1,500 and P1,600 will be hiked to P6,100, P6,900, P7,700, P8,500 and P9,300, respectively.

The current highest disability rate of P1,700 per month will be increased to P10,000.

Meanwhile, the P500 monthly pension for the spouse and each unmarried minor child will be doubled to P1,000. 

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, the principal author of the measure and chairperson of the Senate defense panel, said the proposal is long overdue.

“Our veterans who sustained disabilities and injury in the line of duty have long waited for this legislation to update their monthly disability pension rates which have remained unchanged for 29 years,” Estrada said.

He added, “This legislation is one way of honoring our military and war veterans who served and defended the country in their prime and ensuring that in their twilight years, they and their families are accorded adequate benefits and assistance.”

These proposed increases, however, will be prospective and limited to eligible living veterans only.

The pension and gratuity fund will be the initial source for these increases, which will then be funded through the General Appropriations Act.

A similar proposal is pending on second reading before the House of Representatives.