By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A party-list lawmaker is seeking the adjustment of the pension of retirees who are members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Senior Citizen party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. said the pension should be adjusted to the annual inflation rate or the movement of the consumer price index (CPI) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
“The real value of the pension, as reflected in the actual goods and services that their recipients are able to purchase, however, shrinks as the cost of living rises over the years. As the living costs continue to rise, the purchasing power of the pensioners is progressively and severely eroded, ” he said.
Datol filed House Bill 7495 which provides that the monthly pension of a retiree shall be automatically adjusted at every annual anniversary of the retirement date.
He said the adjustments as provided for by Republic Act 9291 or the GSIS Charter are not regular and predictable, being subject to the approval of the GSIS Board.
“But even if this would be approved, still the rates of these adjustments lag far behind the actual rates of inflation, which averaged four percent per year over the last 15 years, ” Datol said.
He noted that the United States grants retired public employees Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) which are linked to CPIs or are fixed percentages of the monthly pensions.
“The bill will greatly help the retirees make their hard-earned pensions cope with the increasing cost of living for the remaining years of their life, ” Datol said.
HB 7495 seeks to benefit about 280,000 GSIS pensioners as well as their families.