Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Sunday urged the Government Service Insurance System to allow elected officials and their staff to continue remitting voluntary contributions equivalent to 15 years even if they have served for less number of years.
In a statement, the lawmaker pointed out the disparity between the term limits of elected officials and the minimum requirement to qualify for the government’s pension program, saying that it disregards the service rendered by the public servants.
“I appeal for our local officials and their staff who have served nine years in government but cannot qualify for the pension program due to the 15-year minimum service requirement under Republic Act 8291,” Pimentel said.
“I am saddened to learn that there are so many elected officials and public servants holding temporary and co-terminus status on the national and local levels who would retire without a retirement fund and pension only because they have not met the 15-year minimum service requirement,” he added.
Section 13-A of RA 8291 states that a member who retires from the service shall be entitled to the retirement benefits provided that he has rendered at least 15 years of service.
Pimentel said that such provision is “very unfair” for government employees and elected officials who fall short of the minimum 15-year service requirement.
With this, he expressed willingness to sponsor a bill should the GSIS need a legal basis to enable such a proposal.
“I hope the GSIS can look into it and find possible ways to implement that option for local public servants,” he said. —LBG, GMA Integrated News