Senate ratifies bicam report on bill rationalizing veterans’ disability pension

The Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the bill increasing the disability pension of veterans.

Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said that after nearly three decades, disabled veterans can now look forward to getting a higher monthly pension, as Senate Bill No. 1480 seeks to standardize and upgrade the benefits due to military veterans and their dependents.

Estrada, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said the ratification of the bill rationalizing the disability pension of veterans will correct the grave injustice and accord disabled veterans the dignity, respect, and care that they truly deserve.
"For our veteran soldiers and their families, the increase in their monthly disability pension is a big help in their daily expenses,” Estrada said.

“What they currently receive which is only P287 is not enough to even go to a movie. How much more if they need money to buy medicines? So it is only reasonable that we give them the benefits we owe them," the principal sponsor of the measure also said.

Under the bill, the disability base rate would be raised to P4,500 from the current P1,000 or an increase of 350 percent.

Those presently receiving P1,700 which has the highest disability rating will be receiving P10,000 or an increase of P8,300, equivalent to 488 percent. The P500 monthly pension for the spouse and each unmarried minor child will be adjusted to P1,000.
Only minor differences were made in reconciling the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill No. 1480 and House Bill No. 7939 which will amend Republic Act 6948, as the House of Representatives agreed to use the Senate version as the working draft.

Incidentally, both Houses proposed similar rates of increase.

Section 1 of the Senate version was also adopted which simplified and clarified the provision on who will be entitled to the Total Administrative Disability pension of P1,700.

Estrada said the amount will cover the veterans who have reached 70 years old but have not been receiving any disability pension.