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Timesman: Die today, die Tomorrow

There is a plan to increase the minimum pension of pensioners of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to P6,000 per month.

Although this is a welcome move to many pensioners, there are also the good and bad sides of the plan as its president made clear that “survivorship pensioners and those who retired under the Portability Law (Rep. Act No. 7699) are not entitled to the proposed pensioner increase.” I belong to the category of “survivorship.” Bad news as I am not entitled to the increase.

I am a Social Security System (SSS) member and receiving regular monthly pension from the system after I retired from the TIMES in 2000.  I acquired the membership from the GSIS upon the death of my wife who served the government for 37 years.

Under the GSIS pension law, the husband/wife of a deceased member will automatically be entitled to half of the monthly pension of the dead member called “survivorship pension.”

But I was disheartened by the discrimination because under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (Rep. Act No. 9994), it is provided that all pensioners should be given equal benefits as given under the other retirement acts.

Since this is yet a plan on the part of the GSIS to give minimum pension increase to its members, there is still hope that those like me will be included when new sets of lawmakers from the two Congressional Houses assume their positions after the mid-term elections. There is hope that they will review the implementation of RA 7699, in relation to RA 9994 as the implementation needs a House resolution.

Maawa naman kayo. The P1,000 of the P2,000 pension increase of the SSS that President Rodrigo Duterte promised has yet to be implemented. The GSIS has yeto to implement its pension increase.

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I pity the three priests who admitted publicly that they have received death threats allegedly for criticizing the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

Although Fathers Albert Alejo, Robert Reyes, and Flavie Villanueva declared that they are not scared of the President, photos of their faces and actions that appeared in a Manila daily the other day appeared otherwise. Para silang takot na takot as nuns at their back are praying over them.

Don’t worry, Fathers. Always remember that God will protect you wherever you are.

Anyway, as what a colleague in the media kept on saying when he was still alive: “Die today, die tomorrow, the same.”

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With fellow wildlife hunters in the early 70s, we had a chance meeting with businessman Robert Alan L. Limso within the vicinity of family-owned sprawling Bunawan Sawmill facing Samal Island in this northern part of the city.

The place was known as a favorite hunting ground then for wild birds – hawk, parrots, abukay, balud, and monkeys – as they were often seen because it is near the shores of the still pristine Samal Island of Davao del Norte.

Robert and I became close friends while his family was building the 81,000-square meter mall – Victoria Plaza along Bajada and the Limso Medical Center along Ilustre Sreet– and until he became city councilor in 1981 to 1986. He died more than a decade ago in the United States.

Victoria Plaza was foreclosed by PNB and now is reported to have been acquired by homegrown retail store New City Commercial Center (NCCC).

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The 1.682-kilometer coastal road from Bago Aplaya to Times Beach, part of the five packages of 2017 worth P19.8 billion with a completion target of 2021, is expected to be opened this year and may ease traffic congestion from Ulas to MacArthur Highway during peak hours.

The unprecedented development in the area, where I had a house for 35 years, has been quite noticeable under the Duterte administration. I am not surprised. Under the former city mayor, nothing is now impossible for Davao City to grow this fast.

But I have no regrets leaving the old place at Times Beach and transferring to a high-end village in the north side.

I was told that peace and order caused by the proliferation of illegal drugs is again having its ugly face in the area where I also used to spend my fishing hobby then.

Hope the President will look into this.

 

 

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