Duterte signs order granting ₱20,000 aid to pensioners

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) – President Rodrigo Duterte signed an administrative order on Monday that will grant a one-time ₱20,000 financial aid to pensioners of the Employees' Compensation (EC) program.

Around 31,000 pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will benefit from the financial assistance under Administrative Order 39.

"The ECC (Employees' Compensation Commission) approved the proposed grant of a one-time financial assistance, based on the observation that pensioners experience undue financial hardships because of their vulnerabilities, and in anticipation of the prolonged economic impact of the pandemic on their lives," the order reads.

The order directed the ECC, SSS, and GSIS, to set aside funding from the Social Insurance Fund.

The Employees' Compensation Program was designed to provide a compensation package to public and private workers and their dependents for work-related sickness, injury, or death.

Sea-based Overseas Filipino workers and maids are private sector workers that are considered compulsory SSS members.

Government employees who are compulsory GSIS members include uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Philippine Coast Guard.

Since the start of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national government provided cash aid to low-income households and other vulnerable sectors of the society.

When another enhanced community quarantine rule was imposed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces late March, the government provided cash or in-kind assistance of ₱1,000 each or up to a maximum ₱4,000 for a family.

Earlier today, Malacañang apologized for the slow distribution of financial aid to families affected by stricter lockdown measures as the country faces an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases.