The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading a measure lowering the optional retirement age of government employees from 60 to 56.
With 192 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and no abstention, 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)