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ROUGH CUTS | Ang eyeing his PSA with the Mindanao grid?

WELL, now, actor-turned Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. has finally filed a bill in the Senate which somewhat jolted the Filipinos letting the name of the actor-politician into their consciousness as a legislator.

Yes, Revilla, Jr. must have found an adviser who gave him what it would take to make his bill extensively yet funnily discussed by everyone even among the so-called captains of industry in the country.

Imagine his bill proposing for the lowering of the age for one to become senior citizen from the current 60 years old to 56! This is one bill that if our lawmakers will approve, will surely have a lot of repercussions in the country’s economy.

There is no doubt that first among the many questions that the proposal will generate is: Will it mean
that when a person reaches 56 years old will it also be his retirement age? If so, will the country’s
pension system be ready to fund the person’s retirement benefits?

Will not the funds intended for the payment of pensions to retirees be further depleted since when a worker reaches his senior years and he or she retires the payment of his/her SSS, GSIS or Pag-IBIG contribution also stops unless the retiree opts to continue up to the time he reaches the compulsory retirement age if it is so prescribed in the bill that Revilla has introduced in the Senate?

On the other hand we are aware that most companies have adopted policies providing benefits for
their retiring employees the most significant of which is the lumped sum gratuities given when an
employee retires and the amount is based on what normally is agreed in collective bargaining
agreements, or is offered by management in the case of managerial level personnel.
Again, if this is also clearly required to be adjusted under the Revilla Bill, if it will be recklessly
approved by his fellow legislators, there is no doubt that business establishments will be hard-put in
accumulating funds to satisfy the requirements for paying retirement gratuities. Therefore, the
possibility is that there might be major review of policies on granting such benefits to retiring workers.
Meanwhile, the author of the bill seems to pride himself in saying that the intention of his proposed
measure is to have more people enjoy the benefits of senior citizens earlier by four yeas than what it is

But is the government ready to fund all the benefits to the bloated number of senior citizens once the
Revilla Bill becomes a law?
Frankly, we suspect that the actor-senator’s adviser could possibly be a retired military officer. What
with his or her conveniently recommending the reduction of the age of becoming senior citizen to 56 which is the retirement age of those in the military and police service? Does the Bill also include as component the annual setting aside of budget to fund the benefits of the retiring government personnel if his/her reaching the 56 years old senior year will also be his retirement age?

Really, we have no idea if the Caviteno Senator has taken into consideration the 4 years between 56
and 60 that are still very productive for most persons. In fact at ages 56 to 60 most people are already
tempered, wiser and well-learned source of wisdom. Now, if they are to be taken out of the work force
by virtue of their becoming senior citizens is it not a way of depriving the economy of the more
experienced and seasoned workers?

Of course we are not certain about all these apprehensions until the Senator, or the Senate itself, will
be able to share to the public the full text of the Revilla bill. Hence, we believe that if the actor-senator
would want his bill supported by the people or refined by way of public recommendations, his office
must disseminate as wide as possible the full text of the Senator’s bill.

Or, is the Revilla Bill deliberately introduced at the instance of some people just to take away the heat
being heaped on another proposed Lower House-initiated Maharlika Wealth Fund bill? We’re just
thinking of the possibility which is not remote.


Who is San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC’s) Ramon Ang trying to hostage with his suspension of the
supply of power from his generating plants to Manila Electric Company? The tycoon made his abrupt
decision to cut his power supply agreement to Meralco after his generating companies’ petition for a
rate hike was turned down by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
For the time being the supply cut is limited to the Manila-based power distribution firm controlled by
businessman and fellow tycoon Manny Pangilinan.

But will not Ang soon be reviewing his Power Supply Agreement (PSA) to the Mindanao power
retailers through the National Grid Corporation (NGCP)? Remember SMC has its generating plant in
Malalag, Davao de Oro! Who knows Ang through his managers might find basis to have his rate

Is SMC’s Ang now trying to collect the “What’s in it for us” from all his personal and corporate giving?
We’ll have more incise discussion on this in succeeding issues of this paper.v


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