No override veto for pension hike proposal on last day of Congress

  • 16th Congress closes without pension hike for senior citizens
  • Congressman Neri Colmenares has called to vote to override the President’s veto of the proposal during the last day of Congress
  • His appeal was rejected by members of the House since the Senate has adjourned its last session at the time

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives debated for the final time the fate of the proposed P2,000-increase of the Social Security System (SSS) pension during Congress’ last day on Monday evening, June 5.

The plenary floor started to heat up when Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, advocate and proponent of the measure, raised his long-time call to override President Benigno Aquino III’s veto of the SSS pension hike proposal.

Aquino rejected the proposed bill in January because he feared that this will use up the safety funds of the state-run pension firm, which will eventually lead to bankruptcy.

Colmenares had since called on his fellow solons to override the veto by achieving a 2/3 votes of the 290-strong House membership.

And on Monday, he reiterated his call as he was quoted in a Rappler story: “This is our historic chance, Mister Speaker, to grasp this opportunity to alleviate the plight of our senior citizens. I move, Mister Speaker, that we reconsider HB (House Bill) 5842 and override the veto of President Aquino.”

He was supported by colleagues BUHAY Party-list Representatives Lito Atienza, Manila 5th District Representative Amado Bagatsing and Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon.

But Colmenares’ appeal was shot down when Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II and Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Farinas said the Senate has already adjourned their last session.

“Under the Constitution, we won’t be able to override the said veto, which is soon to be sent to the other chamber for their corresponding override,” Gonzales said.

Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao called for a viva voce (oral) voting but more called to reject the proposed override.