Press Release
November 22, 2022

Committee Report No. 11
Disability Pension of Veterans

Thank you, Mr. President, Majority Leader.

Good afternoon Mr. President and distinguished colleagues: It is my honor and privilege to co-sponsor Senate Bill No. 1480 under Committee Report No. 11, a measure which seeks to increase the disability pension of our veterans.

Mr. President, to call our veterans our country's living heroes is an understatement as they have risked their own lives without any reservations, and knowing fully well the sacrifice they have to make to allow us to have the freedom which we all enjoy today. Thus, we laud the then passage of Republic Act No. 6948 which standardized and upgraded the benefits of our military veterans and their dependents.

Nonetheless, it [is] also beyond question that a 1990 law can no longer address the needs of the beneficiaries in this present day especially with the inflation as the prices of commodities continuously goes up. Unfortunately, the annual inflation does not carry with it a consequent rise in the pension benefits granted to the beneficiaries, which have remained steadily for 32 years.

With the passage of this measure, we can ensure that the pension that we have granted to our veterans may actually be utilized for their everyday needs. For the record, the insufficiency of the veteran's pension benefits have already been [recognized] when the monthly old-age pension of senior veterans have been increased during the time of President Duterte from P5,000 to P20,000.00. Thus, it is but right for this august chamber to likewise support this proposed measure given that the current disability pension merely ranges from P1,000 to P1,700. While these amounts may seem more than sufficient back when the law was passed, its value today merely equates to more or less a pensioner's food for a week or worse, less than half of a vehicle's gas tank.

Mr. President, bagama't hindi matutumbasan ng kahit anong salapi ang sakripisyo ng ating mga beterano, it is my hope that through this measure, we can at least continuously honor their sacrifices which gave us peace and stability today. It is but our responsibility as legislators to ensure that laws enacted are not only enacted with good intention but more importantly, responsive enough to actually carry out the very intent and spirit behind it.

Thank you and good afternoon again.

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