Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Aileen Lizada expressed hope Friday that the proposed bill on lowering the optional retirement age of government workers would get the legislative traction that it needs.
“Personally, I am for the lowering of the optional age of retirement from 60 to 56,” Lizada bared during the “Laging Handa” press briefing.
Lizada was reacting to a statement from Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto saying that government should offer its employees early retirement incentives as a way to reduce personnel expenses.
“This is one of my personal advocacies in CSC. Aside from a better retirement pay, I am for early retirement,” she said.
“I have gone around Luzon to Mindanao, I’ve spoken to 49 government agencies, LGUs (local government units). The sentiment, 99.99 percent, ang iba po ay pagod na (there are some who are tired already),” said Lizada, who has had previous stints at the Office of the Ombudsman and the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“That’s why nagpapasalamat po ako kay Congressman Garbin for offering the bill, pasado na po ito sa (Lower House). (That’s why I’m thankful to Congressman Garbin for offering the bill, which has already hurdled the Lower House). It is up to the Senate and with the words of the Senate President, I hope that this would push through,” she said.
Lizada was referring to House Bill (HB) No. 5509, which the House of Representatives unanimously passed on third and final reading in December 2019. It was principally authored by Ako-Bicol party-List Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr.
The measure was also approved by the House during the previous 17th Congress.
“We have the highest optional age of retirement among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, which is 60. We also have the highest mandatory age of retirement among ASEAN countries, which is 65,” Lizada said to provide context.
“Marami na rin hong pagod (A lot of government workers are tired). Let’s infuse new blood into the system. Let us give it to the government employees to decide if they want to retire early,” she added.