House OKs bill lowering gov't retirement age on 2nd reading

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

December 4, 2019, 5:27 pm

MANILA -- The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a measure lowering the optional retirement age of government employees from 60 to 56.

Voting via voice vote, the chamber passed House Bill 5509, which seeks to amend Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291, otherwise known as the "Government Service Insurance (GSIS) Act of 1997."

Government workers who have reached the age of 56 years may file for retirement and be entitled to an old-age pension for life from the GSIS.

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro, principal author of the bill, said earlier retirement is one of the demands voiced during consultations with public school teachers.

Castro noted that teachers in the Philippines retire five years later than those in most countries, noting that retirement age is 60 in most North American, European and Asian countries.

“Respect and humane consideration demand that a person of 55 years -- a few years shy of being a senior citizen -- should not be required to perform the arduous functions expected of a public-school teacher in the Philippines. At such stage of their lives, public school teachers should at least be given the choice if they wish to rest from the profession and enjoy better and healthy years ahead,” Castro said. (PNA)