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MANILA — WITH 21 affirmative and zero negative votes, the Senate approved on third and final reading the bill proposing a 350 to 488 percent rate increase in the disability pension of veterans and their beneficiaries.
Principally authored by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Senate Bill No. 1480 will upgrade the monthly entitlement to veterans who have been rendered disabled owing to sickness, disease, wounds, or injuries sustained in the line of duty.
“I truly feel that this measure is long overdue. Our veterans who sustained disabilities and injury in the line of duty have long waited for this legislation to update their monthly disability pension rates which have remained unchanged for 29 years,” the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security said.
“This legislation is one way of honoring our military and war veterans who served and defended the country in their prime and ensuring that in their twilight years, they and their families are accorded adequate benefits and assistance,” he added.
Under SB 1480 or the proposed Act Rationalizing the Disability Pension of Veterans, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 6948 titled “An Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Beneficiaries” as amended, the disability base rate will be raised to P4,500 from the current P1,000, or an increase of 350 percent.
Those receiving a monthly disability pension of P1,200; P1,300; P1,400; P1,500; and P1,600 will be adjusted to P6,100; P6,900; P7,700; P8,500, and P9,300, respectively.
On the other hand, those currently 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.
Estrada acknowledged the contributions of Sen. Sonny Angara, chairperson of the Committee on Finance in the drafting of the measure, along with the co-authors, namely Majority Leader Sen. Joel Villanueva, Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Loren Legarda, Sen. Lito Lapid, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and his committee vice chairpersons Senators Francis Tolentino, Christopher Go, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Ronald dela Rosa, and Robin Padilla.
He made special mention of Minority Leader Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III for helping in refining the provisions of the measure.