During his time as a candidate, President Rodrigo Duterte made a promise to raise the pension provided by the Social Security System. The petition was originally denied by then-President Aquino’s administration but has been passed into law by the Senate as of November 9, 2016.
Fifteen senators voted to pass the bill that would grant a Php 2,000 across-the-board increase in the pension of retired SSS members. Now that this bill has been passed, the extra Php 2,000 could go a long way. But what can you buy with the Php 2,000 SSS pension hike? Here are a few things the retirees in your family could use it for.
While most retirees are hale and healthy, some will require medicines to maintain their tip-top health. With medicine prices fluctuating, it’s ideal to get the generic brands of medicine to save on costs.
A bottle of ibuprofen that could be used to treat arthritis costs about Php 61.86, while adult multivitamins cost about Php 6 to 8 per tablet. Insulin, used to treat glucose imbalances in diabetics, costs between Php 341.90 to Php 420 for disposable injections. The extra amount added to a retiree’s pension could potentially help offset these costs.
According to Numbeo, the cost for at least two weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of four averages at about Php 1,500. That accounts for three meals a day, plus coffee for the adults, and snacks. The additional amount could mean a few treats for grandchildren or additional supplies around the home for the retiree who loves to cook or bake.
This is a welcome addition to many households that are made up of retirees and younger adults that are in the workforce. Given the rising cost of living, the extra Php 2,000 added to the minimum Php 1,200 a month gives a pensioner a bit more leeway when it comes to their groceries and household needs.
While most retirees are entitled to free movie tickets and matinee showing prices, the additional amount can also allow for them to indulge in more entertainment. The extra amount could be put towards bus tickets to nearby vacation spots, or visiting relatives in nearby provinces.
Bus tickets average at Php 300 to 500 depending on the destination and the type of bus that one plans to board.
The bill is purported to take effect 15 days after its approval, and lawmakers are eyeing a further increase in addition to the Php 2,000 already passed into law. Amidst the discussion of the SSS possibly losing funding due to the increase, lawmakers like Rep. Neri Colmenares have pointed out that the agency could possibly replenish its funds if it goes after delinquent employers who do not remit contributions.
Controversy aside, it’s a welcome holiday gift to pensioners when it takes effect and could help a lot of families out with their finances when the time comes.
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