MANILA – Government employees are open to the House of Representatives’ move to lower their optional retirement age from 60 to 56.
Atty. Aileen Lizada of the Civil Service Commission said that a consultation of personnel across the country—conducted in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic—showed that they want the option to retire at a younger age.
“Bakit? Well number one, sinabi ko na ho, 26 year-old law ang ating batas. Number two, ang iba, pagod na po,” she said on TeleRadyo.
(Why? Well, number one, it's a 26 year-old law. Number two, they're tired.)
“Kasi kailangan po para maka-avail kayo ng retirement pay sa (Government Service Insurance System), kailangan umabot kayo ng 60 years old at 15 years, sabay dapat ang dalawa, and 15 years in service,” she explained.
(That's because under the GSIS, you have to be both at least 60 and have served the government for 15 years before you can avail of retirement benefits.)
Lizada noted that the Philippines has the oldest mandatory age and optional retirement age in the ASEAN.
“Bigyan ho natin ng oportunidad ang mga kawani ng gobyerno, yung mga remaining years nila na last nila productive pa naman din po sila, to try another factor sa buhay nila. Let us infuse young blood sa ating bureaucracy,” she added.
(Let's give government employees, let's let tham have their remaining productive years to try another factor in their life. Let us infuse our democracy with young blood.)
The lawyer noted that early retirement won’t affect the quality of service government has to offer.
“Before you retire, meron na rin hong proseso dyan by succession, meron hong mga promotion na nangyayari. And then the head of agency would know, ang (Human resources) ng mga agencies would know sino ang mga magre-retire and when, and they will also think about yung kanilang succession plan. Meron hong in place ang bureaucracy na ganoon.”
(Before you retire, succession plans are in place. Agency heads, human resources departments would know who is retiring and who can take their place. We have succession plans in the bureaucracy.)
Lizada appealed to the Senate to consider a counterpart bill for the early retirement of government employees.
“We are respectfully appealing, tingnan ho natin ito, to grant government workers, who have worked most of their productive life, the gift of time. The gift of time to benefit pa ho, enjoy the fruits of their labor, at a younger age.”
“Iba na ho kasi ang panahon ngayon, meron nang mental health, wellness, na dati wala naman ho yan.”
(It's a different time now. We have to consider mental health and wellness We weren't considerate of those back in the day.)
--TeleRadyo, 2 February 2023