Labor group wants mandatory retirement age maintained, benefits improved
MANILA — Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) wants the mandatory retirement age "maintained," saying existing laws should instead be improved to give better benefits for retiring workers.
"For us, I think the mandatory and optional retirement age should be maintained," KMU chairperson Elmer "Bong" Labog told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo on Wednesday.
"I think it's not in place that the mandatory retirement age should be canceled as of now... The existing laws should be improved — and give better benefits both in private and government enterprises," he added.
A proposal to remove the mandatory retirement age of 65 is being pushed in the House of Representatives. Under the bill, employees who reach 65 may have the option to continue working.
This received the backing of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who said that many 65 to 70-year-olds are "still very productive members of our society."
But Labog said workers who served "their society for so long deserve to be with their family and enjoy quality of life... while they can travel, move around."
Meanwhile, a senior citizens' group is calling on government and private companies to allow them to work to help their families as prices of fuel and other basic commodities increased.
"Hinihiling namin sa ating pamahalaan at mga private establishments na sana bigyan kami ng opportunities, ng pagkakataon, upang kami ay makatulong sa aming pamilya," said Jorge Banal Sr., president of Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines.
(We are asking our government and private establishments to give us opportunities to help our families.)
Banal also touched on the elderly's social pension, saying all senior citizens should get the benefit.
"Dapat 'pag ikaw ay nakarating na ng 60 anyos dapat magkaroon ka ng benepisyo kagaya ng binibigay sa mga indigents," he told TeleRadyo.
"Patuloy naming ilalahad 'yan sa pamahalaan at patuloy kaming makikiusap na sana aprubahan 'yung universal social pension."
(If you reach the age of 60 you should also get the benefits the indigents are receiving. We will continue to call on the government to approve the universal social pension.)
A bill seeking to increase the monthly pension of poor senior citizens and provide them more benefits recently lapsed into law. The measure raises the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens to P1,000 from the previous P500.