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House bill seeks additional benefits for former PH presidents

A bill seeking to grant additional benefits, including personal security personnel, to former presidents of the country has been filed in the House of Representatives.

Zamboanga del Sur Representatives Divina Yu and Jeyzel Yu made the proposal under House Bill 7231 or Former Presidents Benefits Act, which grants a former president staff members, and an office space provided by the Office of the President and at least five personal security personnel for themselves and their immediate family.

The authors of the measure said such benefits are in order because former presidents still serve as a representation of the country.

“As former highest-ranking elected officials of the country, former Presidents are expected to contribute insights on nation building and pressing national issues which may require their expertise. Despite the end of their term, they are also expected to perform post presidential duties such as meeting with foreign and local dignitaries, and attending public events and other social engagements,” the authors said in their explanatory note.

“These duties often require them to employ the services of personal staff and maintain private offices. To maintain the dignity of the Office of the President and honor former Presidents of the Republic, this proposed measure seeks to grant them certain benefits and privileges that will allow them to perform the duties and functions often required of a former President,” they added.

The authors said the measure will also ensure safety of former presidents’ immediate family.

The bill provides that such additional benefits will be accorded to former presidents for the remainder of his or her life.

A similar bill has already been filed in the Senate by Senators Senators Bong Go, Mark Villar, Ronald dela Rosa, and Francis Tolentino.

The Philippines' current living former presidents are Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Rodrigo Duterte. —Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA Integrated News