The bill to review the disability pension of disabled veterans is now in the Senate plenary.
In his sponsorship speech, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said that the monthly pension of P1,000-P1,700 is not fair.
Estrada said considering the high cost of living today and the state of their health, it is only a meager amount to cover their needs.
“Ang P1,000 hanggang P1,700 na buwanang pension para sa mga beteranong sundalo at kanilang mga sustentado sa ilalim ng RA 6948 ay hindi nadagdagan sa nakalipas na 28 taon… Needless to say, the amount is already grossly inadequate to provide for their needs, considering the high cost of living today and the state of health they are in. By all metrics, the value of 1,000 pesos in 1994 is undoubtedly much, much lower in 2022, with almost 250% price increase since,” he said.
“Ang halaga ng isang libo noon ay dalawang daan at walumpu't pitong piso (P287) na lamang ngayon. Hindi na po sapat ang benepisyong tinatanggap ng ating mga beterano, lalo na sa harap ng pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin at pangunahing pangangailangan. Kung susumahin, masyadong mababa ang halaga ng P1,000 noong 1994 dahil tumaas na ng 250% ang presyo ng mga bilihin mula noon. Ang halaga ng isang libo noon ay P287 na lang anya ngayon,” Estrada added.
Estrada emphasized the value of the veterans' pension increase, from a monthly minimum of P4,500 for the disabled and a maximum of P10,000 and P1,000 for the spouse and each minor child.
Jinggoy wants higher disability pension for veterans
The increase in said benefits will be granted to qualified beneficiaries who are among the 4,386 veteran pensioners.
204 of them are centenarians, and the oldest is a 112-year-old World War II veteran.
Meanwhile, 2,276 are spouses, and 795 are minor children of veteran soldiers.
According to the data shared by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Estrada found that there are 1,484 veterans aged 90 to 99, and most of them are bedridden.
Estrada insisted this is additional income for veteran soldiers that they can use for their daily living expenses.
He said this is proof that they are not forgetting and fulfilling the government's promise to ensure the welfare of our country's veterans by guaranteeing that their pension meets their current needs.