Philippines to let officials retire at 56

By on 08/01/2019
Manila, the Philippines, where government workers will have the right to retire at 56 (Image courtesy: Jopetsy/Flickr).

Legislation to lower the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 to 56 in the Philippines has been voted through, with overwhelming support from the House of Representatives for amendments to section 13-A of the Republic Act 8291 – also known as the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997.

The principle author of the bill was Antonio Tinio, a congressman representing the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in the House of Representatives. He said that the proposed law will allow civil servants to fully enjoy their retirement benefits for as long as possible, according to human resources news website hrmasia.com.

France Castro, who also represents the ACT in the house, said that public school teachers have consistently asked to be given the choice to retire earlier during their formal and informal consultations nationwide, according to Philippine news agency pna.gov.ph.

Class acts

“It is imperative that Congress listen to these government workers who have devoted their lives to honing the minds and nurturing the hearts of our youth, in spite of receiving meagre salaries, working in underfunded schools and doing additional, usually unpaid, miscellaneous tasks,” Castro said.

Both stressed that the bill will not lead to staffing problems for the state workforce, as most government employees prefer to stay in service for longer – many of them working to 65 years of age, the mandatory retirement age.

“While the 65 years old mandatory retirement age remains, government employees should be given the freedom to retire earlier, especially those who are suffering from ailments and are in need of intensive medical attention,” they said.

Contra flow

The measure provides a stark contrast with the direction of travel in many other countries – including Russia, Ireland and Brazil – which have raised civil service retirement ages over recent years to cut public spending and recognise rising life expectancy.

Meanwhile, the Philippines House of Representatives also approved the second reading of a bill which seeks to increase the benefits earned by science and technology government personnel. The government wants to expand its pool of experts in this field, and to motivate them to continue working for the government, according to national news site Manila Standard.

About Catherine Early

Catherine Early is a journalist and editor specialising in government policy and regulation. She writes predominantly about environmental issues and has worked for the Environmentalist, the ENDS Report, Planning magazine and Windpower Monthly, and also written for the Guardian, the Ecologist and China Dialogue.

One Comment

  1. armando madayag llopis

    09/01/2019 at

    Good morning Madam!

    You said that amendments to section 13-A of the Republic Act 8291 was voted through with overwhelming support from the House of Representatives (of Phil Congress). I would like to know the date when it was deliberated and voted upon. Was the voting done in the Committee Level or Third Reading? I am interested in your article because I too am a 59-year old LGU department head with SG-24.

    I highly appreciate any relevant detail to my inquiry.

    Thank you.

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