In line with his advocacy to protect the welfare of Filipinos worldwide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go highlighted the immeasurable service of Department of Foreign Affairs employees.
For this reason, the lawmaker filed Senate Bill No. 1706 which seeks to adjust the monthly pension and disability benefits of the said agency’s retirees, stressing that they have undoubtedly helped Filipinos across the globe, especially during critical times, disasters, security threats, and other crisis situations.
“Saludo po ako sa lahat ng empleyado ng DFA. Sila ang isa sa mga pangunahing ahensya na tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan, nasaan man silang sulok ng mundo. Kaya naman nararapat lang na mabigyan natin sila ng sapat na benepisyo para sa kanilang serbisyo sa bayan,” Go pointed out.
“Their patriotism, integrity, professionalism and genuine concern for the welfare of our kababayans here and abroad are sincere expressions of their devotion to the country in achieving the aspirations of the Filipino people,” the bill states.
Go also cited that DFA workers are specialists in the arena of diplomacy and citizen services abroad. He then underscored that “foreign service personnel deserve to be honored and cared for in their retirement” through adjusting their monthly pension and allowing them to afford a decent living in the face of inflation and the rising cost of living.
Under the proposed bill, all retired officers and employees who have served in the agency for at least 15 years, even those who retired prior to the effectivity of the Act, are eligible to receive a monthly pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Meanwhile, the monthly pension benefits of all retirees will then be automatically adjusted to the existing rate, and any subsequent increase thereof, of the salary grade of the rank they held upon their retirement.
Furthermore, in case the beneficiary succumbs, the surviving spouse and their dependent children shall be entitled to receive the adjusted retirement benefits and shall be distributed or apportioned in accordance with the GSIS Act, as amended.
“During their active service, the retired diplomats have demonstrated their resilience as the Philippines’ first line of representation in dealing with a plethora of concerns. Their initiative, competence, professionalism and creativity have resulted in enduring bilateral and multilateral partnerships, strategic agreements and collaborative engagements that continue to be harnessed for our people’s benefits,” noted Go in his proposed bill.
“This is an important step to duly compensate Philippine foreign service personnel whose invaluable services to the country have helped advance Philippine interests, improve relations with other countries, and protect Filipinos globally,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Go also continues to bat for stronger reintegration programs for Filipino migrant workers, such as livelihood support, wellness and financial literacy programs, and other similar projects, pursuant to the Department of Migrant Workers Act.
Go served as an author and co-sponsor of the Senate version of the said Act, Senate Bill No. 2234, in a bid to improve coordination among agencies dealing with the concerns of Filipino migrant workers and ensure the efficient and effective delivery of critical public services to OFWs.
“Itong mga OFWs natin, napakalaki po talaga ng naitutulong sa kanilang mga pamilya at pati na rin sa bansa. Kumakayod sila araw-araw, malayo sila sa kanilang mga pamilya, para lang siguraduhin na may makakain ang kanilang mahal sa buhay. Kaya kailangan nating gawin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang masuportahan sila at ang kanilang mga pamilya,” Go cited.