Press Release
January 15, 2016

Cayetano calls on Congress to override Aquino's veto
of SSS pension hike bill

Vice Presidential bet and Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano today called on his fellow legislators to override President Benigno Simeon Aquino's veto of a bill which seeks a P2,000 across-the-board increase in Social Security System (SSS) monthly pensions.

"It is incumbent upon the legislative branch, particularly to all those who supported and signed the bill, to override the president's veto. We must demonstrate our strong resolve in advancing the welfare of ordinary people and show that we are the people's voice and not just a rubber stamp of Malacanang," Cayetano said.

"Social security is meant to help our pensioners after their retirement cope with the costs of living without their regular salaries. But what good is social security if what they get is so low and cannot even meet their barest needs," Cayetano added.

Cayetano said that in order to override the veto, the legislature will require two-thirds vote of the House and Senate, voting separately.

On January 12, 2016, Aquino vetoed House Bill No. 5842, or the SSS pension hike bill. In his veto message, Aquino explained that the stability of the entire benefit system will be 'seriously compromised' if the proposed pension hike is implemented.

Cayetano, however, said that they already made the necessary computations and concluded that the pension hike is possible.

"The SSS can absorb the pension hike. Based on its yearly reports, SSS is profitable. It has more funds that it is investing and disbursing, and it has investments in various large companies. Moreover, it is enjoying a continuing rise in membership, which also increases revenues generated from members' contributions," Cayetano explained.

"That's why I don't understand the reason behind the veto. Instead of helping our people especially the vulnerable such as the elderly, the sick and the unemployed get out of the bottom barrel, they want to keep them there. Sobra-sobra na ang hirap nila," Cayetano said.

Cayetano said if elected, he and his running mate, presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte will prioritize the pension hike of SSS members.

"Ang kailangan ng mamamayan ay tunay na pagbabago na nakabatay sa matapang na solusyon at mabilis na aksyon. As part of our platform to promote equality under the law and genuine inclusive growth, we will work to ensure that ordinary people enjoy the full benefits from government. We will provide working people with a living wage, double their benefits and guarantee that the government promotes the welfare of the population through sustainable assistance measures," Cayetano concluded.

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